Lizelle Lee, the South African opening batter, has been signed up by Surrey Stars for the upcoming season of the Super League as replacement for Harmanpreet Kaur, who pulled out of the tournament because of a shoulder injury.
Harmanpreet, the Indian allrounder who propelled her team to the final of the recent Women’s World Cup 2017 with a spectacular 115-ball 171 against Australia, said when making her decision to skip the league public that she had been playing with severe pain in the latter stages of the marquee event.
Lee was in fine form during the World Cup too, scoring 269 runs from seven matches at an average of 44.83. She also gave a good account of her ability to hit a long ball by smashing 12 sixes, the most in the tournament.
“It’s really exciting to be welcoming such a dynamic and aggressive opener to our squad,” said Richard Bedbrook, the Surrey Stars head coach. “Although it’s sad that Harmanpreet will be unable to join up with us, to be able to replace her with a player of undoubted international class at such short notice is very pleasing indeed and we’re all excited to see Lizelle lining up in a Surrey shirt.”
Lee, who played the first season as part of Western Storm, will join Marizanne Kapp, her national team-mate, at Surrey, with Rene Farrell of Australia as the other overseas signing. World Cup winners Nat Sciver, Tammy Beaumont, Laura Marsh and Alex Hartley are also part of the squad.
Across at Southern Vipers, the defending champions led by Charlotte Edwards, Mignon du Preez has been called up for the injured Dane van Niekerk. Van Niekerk played a big role in her side’s surge to the World Cup semifinal by taking 15 wickets at an average of just 10. She ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker.
Du Preez, the captain of the team before van Niekerk took charge, also enjoyed a fruitful tournament by scoring 229 runs from seven matches at an average of 57.25.
“I consider ourselves fortunate in that we have found such a talented and experienced player to replace Dane van Niekerk,” said Bob Parks, Southern Vipers general manager. “She will certainly add value to our batting unit and comes with a high reputation as an excellent fielder.”
Du Preez will join Suzie Bates of New Zealand and Hayley Matthews of Windies as the team’s overseas signings.
Southern Vipers will play the tournament opener against Western Storm on August 10 in Southampton, while Surrey Stars will get their campaign underway against Yorkshire Diamonds on August 13 at The Oval.