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India batter Jemimah Rodrigues has signed with Melbourne Stars for her second stint at the WBBL, after having played for Melbourne Renegades last year. She will be the first Indian to represent Stars in the eighth edition of the competition, beginning October 13.
Rodrigues, who was part of the silver-medal winning Indian team at the Commonwealth Games, was the second highest run-getter for her side - and fifth highest overall - with 146 runs from five matches.
"I am super excited to be a part of the Stars family," Rodrigues said. "I've been told that I'm the first ever Indian to sign for the Stars and it is my honour to do so. Melbourne has always been my favourite city in Australia and I can't wait to get back there!"
In the 13 matches that she played in the last WBBL season, Rodrigues scored a total of 333 runs at a strike rate of 116.43, including two fifties. Overall, in 58 T20Is, she has scored 1273 runs, at a strike rate of 111.56.
After missing the ODI World Cup earlier this year, Rodrigues had returned to Indian squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in June after strong performances in domestic competitions. She made 243 runs in six matches during the Senior Women's T20 Trophy at an average of 60.75 and a strike rate of 167.58 and carried her excellent form into the Women's T20 Challenge.
After the Commonwealth Games ended in August, Rodrigues signed up for the second season of the Hundred this year, but her stint at Northern Superchargers was cut short due to a wrist injury. In this season's Hundred opener, she smashed 51 off just 32 balls as an opener against defending champions Oval Invincibles, before being dismissed for 2 against London Spirit.
"We have a huge following in India and to add a player of Jemimah's quality to our squad is huge coup for the club," Stars' general manager Blair Crouch said. "I'm sure Jemimah will quickly become a fan favourite and we look forward to seeing her as part of the Stars Family in WBBL 08."
Rodrigues is expected to join the Stars squad after the Women's Asia Cup, slated to be held from October 1 to 16 in Bangladesh.
Last year a total of eight Indians - Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Radha Yadav, Richa Ghosh, Poonam Yadav, and Rodrigues - took part in the WBBL, representing five teams. It was India's largest contingent in the competition.
Melbourne Stars squad: Meg Lanning, Lucy Cripps, Sophie Day, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Kim Garth, Rhys McKenna, Sasha Moloney, Sophie Reid, Jemimah Rodrigues, Annabel Sutherland.