After Lauren Bell, England captain Heather Knight withdraws from WPL 2024; RCB name replacement


RCB team
Image Source : GETTY RCB team during WPL 2023 game

Heather Knight withdrew her name from the upcoming Women’s Premier League 2024 on Saturday, January 27. Royal Challengers Bangalore announced South African star Nadine de Klerk as a replacement for Knight for the second edition of the tournament starting on February 23.

Knight, 33, will join young pacer Lauren Bell who also withdrew from the cash-rich league on Friday. England women’s cricket team is scheduled to travel to New Zealand for the white-ball series in March-April and the England and Wales Cricket Board has reportedly asked the players to choose between national duties and WPL.  

The legendary batting all-rounder struggled to make an impact with a bat in WPL 2023 but impressed with a ball. She featured in all eight innings for the Bangalore-based franchise where she scored 135 runs at a strike rate of 140.62 and took four wickets in four innings.

Nadine, the 24-year-old pace all-rounder, went unsold in the WPL player auction last month. She has featured in 46 T20I matches for the Proteas Women since making her debut in 2018 and is also a part of the ongoing multi-form tour of Australia. 

Meanwhile, Smriti Mandhana-led RCB will definitely miss a player of Knight’s stature but have some quality options in the team for the second edition of the tournament. Apart from star batters Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry, the team further improved their squad by signing Georgia Wareham, Kate Cross and Sophie Molineux in the recent auction. 

Bangalore finished the opening edition in the fourth position in a five-team tournament with just two wins in eight games. The likes of Smriti Mandhana and Ellyse Perry struggled to fulfil fans’ expectations and will be looking forward to improved performances in the upcoming season. 

RCB’s updated squad: Smriti Mandhana (c), Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry, Indrani Roy, Kanika Ahuja, Asha Shobana, Disha Kasat, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, Shreyanka Patil, Georgia Wareham, Kate Cross, Ekta Bisht, Shubha Satheesh, S Meghana, Simran Bahadur, Sophie Molineux, Nadine de Klerk.


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