Photo Credit: ICC
Suzie Bates will finally get to see if there really is no place like home as she plays her first game for New Zealand on her home ground of Dunedin.
The University Oval is hosting its second match of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 as the White Ferns face Bangladesh with both sides searching for their first win.
Bates will play her 163rd international match for New Zealand and despite all that experience, she will appear at the venue for the first time tomorrow.
She said: “It will be really special and I guess the fact that I have never played here for the White Ferns makes it that much more special.
“In a home World Cup I will be able to have some of my family and friends up on the bank.
“I talked about it with Katey Martin [White Ferns wicket-keeper] this morning, Steve Martin and Wendy Martin have been like second cricket parents to me and they sit on the same spot whether we’re playing age-group cricket, or whether we’re playing for the Otago Sparks and now for New Zealand.
“We’ll just have that real comfort of knowing what this ground is about and looking up and seeing the people that have been there since we were under 15.“It’s going to be a pretty cool moment to sing the national anthem and be at your home ground, especially for the first time, I’m sure tomorrow will be a pretty cool day.”
Bates will feature alongside fellow Dunedin native Martin whose innings of 44 almost saw New Zealand home as they fell three runs short against the West Indies.
Opening batter Bates was run out for three as Chinelle Henry directed Sophie Devine’s drive back down the ground onto the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
She’ll be hoping for more time in the middle tomorrow.
“I’m just hoping that that little bit of bad luck just means tomorrow I get all the luck,” Bates admitted.
“Bob Carter [head coach] did say I was quite far out of my crease but Sophie hits the ball quite hard straight so maybe I can just sit back on my heels if I see her shaping that way.
“It is what it is and that happens in cricket. Obviously I was disappointed to not get more of a bat but there’s plenty more cricket to come and I just can’t wait to get out there tomorrow.”
Bangladesh came unstuck against South Africa falling 32 runs short after restricting the world No.2 side to 207 all out.
It marked a promising debut in the tournament for the Tigresses, and one their captain Nigar Sultana hopes they can build on.
She said: “I think we don’t have any pressure right now because this is the stage we were trying to show ourselves on nd because there are a lot of things that we can get on from here.
“So still, we do have a lot of chance to do well here and show our potential to the whole world.”
Bangladesh have settled well into Dunedin, where they also faced the Proteas, despite te World Cup marking their first time on New Zealand soil.
Sultana added: “I think still we had a lot of practices here, even though we have only played a couple of matches. We adapted to the wicket very well and with the conditions as well. We’re just trying to give our best and trying to deliver our best in the next match.”