Following a full on summer culminating in the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, the White Ferns have had a bit more time to focus on interests outside of cricket in recent weeks.
Recently named as one of ten contracted White Ferns players for the summer and currently preparing for the side's tour to the West Indies in September, we checked in with Sophie Devine to find out what else she’s been doing to keep busy lately.
Q. It was a full on summer for you guys, how long did it take to fully wind down after your arrived back from Bangladesh?
A. I was a bit battered and bruised after the tournament so I had a pretty low key couple of weeks letting injuries settle down. Was really disappointing not to get further in the tournament but I believe the team can take away a lot of positives – particularly beating eventual winners Australia first up!
Q. A former Black Stick, we hear you’ve been enjoying getting back to the winter code. Which hockey team have you been playing for and what position do you play?
A. I play mostly at the back as a defender but fancy myself as a striker from time to time! I have just joined the Indians club team here in Wellington and love it! It’s been great to get back into the hockey after not being able to play last year due to surgery. I’m also lucky enough to have recently been selected in the Wellington NHL side that plays its national competition in about a month, so can’t wait to really test myself against the best in the country.
Q. Could you compare the feeling of scoring a goal in hockey to taking a wicket in cricket?
A. Yeah I guess it is pretty similar, always a nice feeling helping the team whether it’s a goal or a wicket!
Q. I guess it helps maintain fitness over the winter months as well?
A. Absolutely! Hockey requires a completely different type of fitness to cricket so has been really beneficial for me not only physically but mentally as well – feeling refreshed and ready to crack into another busy summer.
Q. Anything else you want to talk about you’ve been doing over the winter?
A. Have been continuing my work as one of the four players offered development contracts. Cricket Wellington has some really exciting events coming up for girls and women in the game. In particular the Kilbirnie Sports Junior and Future Blaze Academies will be running for the first time ever this winter and will offer close to 40 girls the opportunity to learn, develop and refine their cricketing skills in a fun and enjoyable environment. I’ve also signed on to play for the South Australian Scorpions in their domestic competition this year which is a great opportunity to test myself in new conditions with a new team.
Q. Looking ahead to the tour of the West Indies, are you excited to getting back onto the pitch?
A. Definitely it’s been a long time since we have played together as a group so I’m itching to get back out there! West Indies is always an awesome place to tour and we were disappointed with how we went last year, so with a bit more experience of their conditions I think we can really challenge the West Indies women at home.
Q. What personal goals do you have for next season?
A. Domestically I'm desperate to see my Wellington Blaze side back in the finals of both formats – with a new look side this year I’m really excited about our chances. With the bat I want to kick on and make some big scores, last year I was able to get starts but not continue on, at the international level you’ve got to be able to convert those starts. And with the ball am just looking to get back into my rhythm!
Best of luck for the upcoming season Sophie!