After returning home ahead of India’s tour to Australia, Shafali Verma will miss Birmingham Phoenix’s Hundred eliminator against Oval Invincibles on Friday. India’s players arrived in Bengaluru on Tuesday and are currently undergoing quarantine in preparation for a pre-tour camp, which those participating in the Hundred will also attend. Verma arrived in the UK in early June, making an impression during India’s multi-format series against England before joining Phoenix in mid-July. Smriti Mandhana, the other Indian player whose team has qualified for the Hundred’s knockout stages, had already left to spend time with her family before the tour in September.

Phoenix captain Amy Jones acknowledged that Verma’s absence was a significant loss ahead of the crucial match. “Obviously, Shafali was hitting her straps, and we saw how dangerous she is against Welsh Fire, so she is a significant loss for us,” said the coach.

The news comes as Indian players prepare for their upcoming tour of Australia. The women’s team will fly to Australia from Bengaluru on August 29 or 30, and the entire squad will be quarantined for two weeks.

Phoenix advanced to the knockout stage thanks to three consecutive victories after appearing doomed earlier in the group stage, and Jones expressed hope that her team could extend that run into the knockouts. Verma had a shaky performance in the competition, going over the score of 25 only once, but her valiant knock of 76 off 42 balls helped her team beat Welsh Fire. It also kicked off their winning streak, which propelled them to the knockout stages. At the time of her departure from the Hundred, she stated that she had thoroughly enjoyed her time with the team and had made many memories.