New Zealand Cricket has announced a White Ferns squad of 14 players for the Rose Bowl home series against Australia and the ICC Women’s World Cup in Sydney in March.
The squad is:
(Captain) - State Canterbury Magicians
Aimee Mason (Vice Captain) - State Central Hinds
Suzie Bates - State Otago Sparks
Nic Browne - State Northern Spirit
Abby Burrows - State Central Hinds
Sophie Devine - State Wellington Blaze
Lucy Doolan - State Wellington Blaze
Sara McGlashan - State Central Hinds
Beth McNeill - State Canterbury Magicians
Katey Martin - State Otago Sparks
Rachel Priest - State Central Hinds
Kate Pulford - State Northern Spirit
Amy Satterthwaite - State Canterbury Magicians
Sarah Tsukigawa - State Otago Sparks
The squad includes one new cap and one recalled player. State Central Hinds bowler Abby Burrows comes into the White Ferns side for the first time with a wealth of State League experience behind her. “Abby has been a consistent performer at State League level for many years,” said White Ferns coach Gary Stead. “She has tremendous ability to swing and seam the ball and will be a great asset to the side.”
Kate Pulford earns a recall to the White Ferns, after last wearing the national colours in 2003. The all-rounder has been in outstanding form for the State Northern Spirit this season, with a high score of 96 and a strike rate of 87. She has also taken consistent wickets throughout the year with a best of 3/23 against Canterbury. “Kate’s a strong hitter of the ball and a versatile bowler – she has the potential to be a match-winner for us,” Stead said.
The side also sees the return of State Otago Sparks all-rounder Suzie Bates, who missed the last Rose Bowl series while preparing for her duties with the New Zealand basketball team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Coach Gary Stead is confident the squad is a strong one, with a solid core of established players with good international credentials. “This is a great team to be taking into a challenging season of international cricket,” he said.
“We’re really looking forward to the prospect of taking on Australia on our home territory again,” Stead commented. “Our last Rose Bowl series was very closely fought – we’re positive we’ll compete strongly this time around and this will be a good indication of where we are at just a month out from the World Cup”.
New Zealand last met Australia in the Rose Bowl series at Lincoln last March, with Australia winning the series 3–2. The last time New Zealand had a series win was in 1999.
The Rose Bowl series also serves as preparation for the Women’s World Cup, which begins in Sydney on 7 March. The White Ferns open their tournament against Australia on 8 March and also face South Africa and the West Indies in group play.