Keeper seeks rare double

State Canterbury Magicians wicketkeeper has a unique perspective on representing the White Ferns.

Milburn (pictured, left) linked up with the national team squad in a recent training camp at the New Zealand Cricket High Performance Centre at Lincoln.

She will join a small group of cricketers to have represented two countries should she debut for the White Ferns.

Milburn, who played for New Zealand ‘A’ against India this year, had previously represented the Netherlands during the 2000 World Cup – the tournament, also held at Lincoln, which saw the White Ferns claim the title.

The Otago-born ‘keeper explained: “I went over there to play club cricket, with no intention of playing for them. I played some games for my club, and word seemed to get around.

“They had a Kiwi coach at the time, and he approached me and asked if I was interested.

“It was great to see a lot of people I’d not seen in a while. But it was a totally different team environment to a New Zealand team. Of course, there was the language although a lot of training was taken in English.”

And having been involved in the ‘A’ team in 2005/06, she has now set her sights on not only achieving a rare double, but extending the family tradition.

Her father, Otago wicketkeeper , played three Tests for the BLACKCAPS in the 1960s.

And he had no qualms over his daughter turning out for a rival country.

“He always backed me, and came to watch the World Cup and he supported me. We certainly talked it over and discussed it.”

“I think there was a two-year stand-down period, but I was young enough to try it, a lot of the positives did override the negatives.”

The weekend camp at the Lincoln HPC was the first chance for coach Steve Jenkin to evaluate his squad close up since the 4-1 series victory over India in March.

Nineteen players converged on Lincoln, with only English-based veteran unavailable. Several State League coaches were also present.

Milburn leaves the country this week with her State Canterbury Magicians’ team-mates for a tour of England.

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