White Ferns looking to go one better

Losing to Australia is always painful, but falling just three runs short in the final of an ICC World Twenty20 tournament doesn’t just hurt, it leaves a scar.

Two years on from a heart-breaking loss to our neighbours in the 2010 final, the White Ferns now have the opportunity to avenge their defeat. The 2012 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 is finally upon us, with the opening match to get underway September 26th.

Eight players remain in the squad from that final – that’s eight players you can guarantee who won’t be short on motivation.
Expectations from within the White Ferns team are high, with the 14 strong squad having gone through a number of rigorous training camps in preparation for the tournament. 

Arguably of most importance was their two week trip to Sri Lanka in August. Their time in Colombo gave them the vital opportunity to adjust to the different pitch conditions, as well as the 40 degree heat – a far cry from New Zealand winter temperatures.

There was plenty of time spent outside getting a tan, but all of it on a cricket pitch rather than the beach. The trip raced by for the White Ferns, who played a number of warm-up matches over there, on top of daily trainings.

That valuable experience has been backed up by a demanding fitness regime for the players back in New Zealand. The preparation has been so extreme that the squad began attending Bikrum Yoga classes (yoga in 40 degree heat) at 6:00am.
Captain Suzie Bates believes it has paid off though, stating that the team’s fitness is the best she’s seen amongst a White Ferns side.

There are plenty more reasons for White Ferns fans to feel optimistic, with the likes of star all-rounders Sophie Devine and Nicola Browne returning to the squad. Devine’s back in the mix after spending time away with the New Zealand Women’s hockey team, while Browne has come out of retirement. Both were a part of the loss in 2010. Both have unfinished business.

There will be a number of strong sides at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament, all of whom will be determined to walk away with the trophy. However, there’s a growing confidence among the team that they have what it takes. They’ve worked hard, they’ve prepared well and they’re as motivated as ever.

It’s time to forget about the pain of 2010 and maybe even return the favour. Just think back to the London Olympics – we all know how much the Aussies love a silver. The White Ferns would be happy to help out.

White Ferns Squad:  Suzie Bates (captain), Erin Bermingham, Kate Broadmore, Nicola Browne, Sophie Devine, Lucy Doolan, Sara McGlashan, Frances Mackay, Katey Martin, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Liz Perry, Sian Ruck, Amy Satterthwaite.

5 facts about the ICC Women’s World Twenty20

• Sri Lanka 2012 will host the third edition of the tournament
• England (2009) and Australia (2010) are the previous two teams to have won
• The White Ferns have finished runner-up both times
• New Zealand’s Nicola Browne was named Player of the Tournament
 in the 2010 competition
• The White Ferns have the best overall record at World Twenty20s,
having won eight of their ten matches

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