WPL – Laura Wolvaardt replaces injured Beth Mooney at Gujarat Giants; Sneh Rana named captain


Laura Wolvaardt has been signed up by Gujarat Giants as replacement for the injured Beth Mooney for the remainder of the Women’s Premier League. Wolvaardt, who was in Pakistan playing in the PCB’s Women’s League exhibition matches, has been released by her team Super Women, and her compatriot Sune Luus has replaced her for the tournament.
As for the leadership at the Giants set-up in the WPL, original vice-captain Sneh Rana has been elevated to captain while Australia allrounder Ashleigh Gardner is the new vice-captain.
Mooney, the designated captain at Giants, suffered a calf injury during their tournament opener against Mumbai Indians. Giants were chasing Mumbai’s 207 for 5, and in the first over of the chase, Mooney appeared to hurt her knee when stopping and turning around while trying to steal a run. She retired hurt straightaway, and Giants lost the match by a massive 143 runs after they were bowled out for 64. Mooney hasn’t played since, though she has been spotted with her colleagues at subsequent Giants matches. She later returned to training but was advised rest of 4-6 weeks.

“I was really looking forward to the maiden WPL season with the Adani Gujarat Giants. But unfortunately, injuries are part and parcel of the sport and I am gutted to be missing the remainder of the season,” Mooney said via a statement. “I, however, will be keeping a close eye on the team’s performance from afar and will be rooting for them every single day. And though I will be away from the field of play for the rest of the season, I am looking forward to coming back stronger, fitter and I will definitely be hungrier next season. For now, I wish the Adani Gujarat Giants squad all the very best for the rest of the WPL season.”

A first-time captain at a high level, Mooney was picked up at the WPL auction last month for INR 2 crore (US$ 244,000 approx.), in a side with many Australians. Ashleigh Gardner, Georgia Wareham and Annabel Sutherland are all part of the squad.

Having come into the WPL after scoring 74 not out in 53 balls in Australia’s win over South Africa in the T20 World Cup final, Mooney was expected to be the frontperson of the Giants batting, a role Wolvaardt, who had gone unsold at the player auction, might well have to play now.
At the Women’s League, Wolvaardt was in good form in her only appearance, scoring 53 not out in 36 balls as Super Women beat Amazons by eight wickets in the first game of the tournament.

“I want to thank the PCB for this opportunity to play in the Women’s League exhibition matches. It has been an incredible short journey, but I have loved the experience. The team has been amazing and I have felt so welcoming,” Wolvaardt said in a statement released by the PCB on Wednesday. “I wish both sides the best of luck with rest of the series. I am sure both sides will strive hard and they will do well and learn a lot from the experience they will get from the matches.

“I cannot wait to return to Pakistan in September with South Africa’s national women’s team and learning more about this amazing country.”

Luus recently led South Africa to the final of the T20 World Cup after being appointed captain once Dane van Niekerk, the regular captain, failed a fitness test and was left out of the squad.

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