New Zealand has unveiled a new-look women’s cricket squad for next month’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with four uncapped players set to earn their international debuts.
With several stalwarts, who were part of the disastrous ICC Cricket World Cup campaign at home earlier this year, having recently retired or having failed to get annual contracts, the White Ferns have included four new players in their 15-member squad.
While Amy Satterthwaite announced her retirement as soon as she came to know her name was not on the list of contracted players released by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) recently, veterans players such as Katey Martin, Lea Tahuhu, Frankie Mackay, and Leigh Kasperek too found themselves out of favor.
Batter Georgia Plimmer, spinner Eden Carson and wicketkeepers Izzy Gaze and Jess McFadyen have all been included, with experienced skipper Sophie Devine once again named to captain the New Zealand side.
Devine said she was excited about the prospect of women’s cricket being part of the Commonwealth Games, following a men’s 50-over version played in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
“We can’t wait to get on the plane,” Devine was quoted as saying by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Wednesday. “To be the first women’s cricket team to represent the country at a global event like the Commonwealth Games is truly an honor.
“It’s been great to get the group back together this week at Bay Oval and our new squad members are finding their feet and fitting in well,” she said.
New Zealand Cricket CEO David White believes the re-introduction of cricket to the Commonwealth Games is a tremendous way to further promote the women’s game.
“It’s a terrific time for cricket to be back at the Commonwealth Games — and it’s another excellent development for the women’s and girl’s game, both here and around the world,” he said.
“I’m sure the players are going to love the experience of being part of a wider New Zealand team, and the slightly different context of the Games environment.”
The Commonwealth Games commence at Edgbaston on July 29, with New Zealand’s first match in the eight-team tournament coming the following day against South Africa.
New Zealand squad: Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Sophie Devine, Lauren Down, Izzy Gaze, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Amelia Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Jess McFadyen, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe.