Laura Wolvaardt, a South African opening batter, has been roped in by Gujarat Giants (GG) as a replacement for Beth Mooney, who sustained a knee injury during the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) tournament opener against Mumbai Indians (MI).

Mooney was expected to captain and keep wicket for Giants, but the injury has ruled her out of the remainder of the tournament.

Wolvaardt’s selection by Giants is a significant move by former Australia international Rachael Haynes, who is now in charge of their team’s management. Despite going unsold in the auction held in February, Wolvaardt was always expected to be at the top of the list for franchises in need of an emergency batter. Her inclusion in the Giants’ squad will provide much-needed support to the team members as they look to challenge for the WPL title.

Wolvaardt is currently in top form, having scored a half-century for team Super Women in the first of three exhibition matches as part of the Pakistan Women’s League’s soft launch. This impressive performance has further increased the expectations of her contribution to the Giants’ success. With her skill and experience, she will add depth and stability to the batting line-up, which could be a decisive factor in the team’s bid to lift the trophy.

Before leaving Pakistan, Wolvaardt thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in a statement.

“I wish both sides the best of luck with the rest of the series,” she said. “I am sure both sides will strive hard, and they will do well and learn a lot from the experience they will get from the matches.

“I cannot wait to return to Pakistan in September with the South Africa’s national women’s team and learning more about this amazing country.”

South Africa captain Sune Luus will replace her in the Super Women squad.