White Ferns vice-captain at the 2009 World Cup, Aimee Watkins (formerly Mason), has been named as the new captain of the national women’s side.
Watkins – who was married earlier this month – will lead the team to the ICC World Twenty20 in England in June, taking over the role from Haidee Tiffen, who retired after the World Cup.
Watkins has been White Ferns vice-captain for the past two seasons and has captained the team previously in Tiffen’s absence. She also has extensive captaincy experience in domestic cricket with the State Central Hinds.
White Ferns coach Gary Stead said Aimee was a logical replacement following the retirement of Haidee Tiffen. “She has been in the vice-captaincy role on previous tours, including the 2009 World Cup, and has experience and a good understanding of the White Ferns leadership and management group,” he said.
“Her aggressive style as a player makes her someone that can have a significant impact on the game – and the T20 style of cricket will be a great way for her to lead from the front.”
Watkins made her debut for New Zealand in 2002 and has played 84 One-day internationals, seven Twenty20 internationals and two Tests.
She is currently ranked the fourth-best all rounder in the world with her off-spin bowling and left-hand batting. She has scored more than 1,500 ODI runs including two centuries, one each against Australia and England, and has taken 76 ODI wickets – placing her second on the all-time New Zealand records list.
Watkins said she was proud to be given the captaincy of the national team. “Following on from Haidee is a big ask – but I know the team is going to be fully behind me,” she said. “It's a big challenge but exciting at the same time.”
“I see one of my strengths as being a pretty calm sort of person – I’m not easily flustered. I hope to lead by example and by my performance on the field.”
New Zealand Cricket’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Vaughan welcomed the new appointment. “Aimee and the White Ferns will have taken great confidence from making the final of the recent World Cup in Australia,” he said. “Now they’ll be looking to go one better at the World Twenty20.”