Gujarat Giants sign Lea Tahuhu as Lauren Cheatle’s replacement

Lea Tahuhu

Women’s Premier League franchise Gujarat Giants have signed New Zealand quick Lea Tahuhu as a replacement for Australian Lauren Cheatle. The left-arm Australian pacer recently underwent neck surgery and will not be available for the upcoming edition of the WPL. GG picked up Cheatle for a base price of INR 30 lakh during the WPL 2024 auction that was held in December last year.

On January 31, 2024, it was confirmed that Lauren Cheatle will miss the next edition of the Women’s Premier League. She underwent surgery to remove skin cancer from her neck and in 2021 she received the same treatment on her leg.

The 24-year-old left-arm pacer has represented Australia in a total of 12 international matches and made her Test debut against India in Mumbai in December 2023.

Lea Tahuhu is a highly experienced New Zealand bowler and has played a total of 173 international matches for the White Ferns. This includes 93 ODI and 80 T20I games in which she took 109 and 78 wickets respectively. Tahuhu will join the Gujarat Giants camp for the same base price that Lauren Cheatle signed in the WPL 2024 auction.

Lea Tahuhu announced as replacement for Lauren Cheatle by Gujarat Giants

The WPL issued a press release in this regard and informed about the development. The press release read: “Gujarat Giants (GG) have named Lea Tahuhu as replacement for Lauren Cheatle for the upcoming edition of the TATA Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024, starting February 23, 2024.”

“Tahuhu, who has represented New Zealand in 80 T20Is and 93 ODIs and has 78 and 109 wickets to his name in T20Is and ODIs respectively, will join GG for INR 30 Lakh. Cheatle, a left-arm pacer from Australia, recently underwent a medical procedure on his neck and will be unavailable for the upcoming TATA WPL season. “WPL would like to wish Cheatle a speedy recovery.”

Lea Tahuhu went unsold in the two previous Women’s Premier League auctions. Tahuhu featured in the ICC Women’s T20 Team of the Year 2017. Tahuhu has been a regular member of the New Zealand women’s cricket team and is one of the highest wicket-takers in the team’s white-ball format.

Lea Tahuhu has also represented Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League. Tahuhu has acquired a total of 57 wickets in 70 games at an economy rate of 6.12.

The 2024 edition of the Women’s Premier League is all set to begin on February 23, 2024 at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The first match of WPL 2024 will be a repeat of the previous edition’s final as Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals will take on each other.

Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions of the tournament and their aim will be to repeat the same performance with Harmanpreet Kaur. On the other hand, Delhi Capitals under the captaincy of Meg Lanning will also step onto the field with the same intention.

Other teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Giants and UP Warriorz cannot be left out of the competition to lift the trophy and have an equal chance of winning the competition.