Wednesday, July 17, 2024

NZC: Mair, Gaze return for tour to Sri Lanka

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Photo Credit: ICC

Central Hinds bowler Rosemary Mair and Auckland Hearts wicketkeeper Izzy Gaze will return to the WHITE FERNS squad for the upcoming tour to Sri Lanka.

Mair last featured for the WHITE FERNS against England during the Commonwealth Games last August but missed out on last year’s tour to the West Indies and the visit from Bangladesh, as well as the T20 World Cup earlier this year.

Gaze, who is selected as wicketkeeping cover to Bernadine Bezuidenhout, was part of the WHITE FERNS squad which won ODI and T20I series’ away against West indies and also missed out on selection for the T20 World Cup in South Africa.

WHITE FERNS head coach Ben Sawyer said he was looking forward to welcoming both players back to the touring group.

“We’re excited to have Rosemary and Izzy back,” said Sawyer.

“Both players have worked hard on their respective games since their last international tours and we’re looking forward to seeing how they handle the challenges that this tour will bring.

“They both bring their own unique strengths to the group and we hope that they’ll contribute to what will hopefully be a successful tour.”

The tour will be the first time the WHITE FERNS have ever visited Sri Lanka for a bilateral series.

Of the touring squad, only Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates have experienced playing in Sri Lanka, during the WHITE FERNS’ 2012 T20 World Cup campaign under the leadership of current BLACKCAPS head coach Gary Stead.

The remainder of the touring squad has a familiar feel to it, with Devine leading the side, alongside other experienced internationals Melie Kerr, Lea Tahuhu and Maddy Green.

Eden Carson and Fran Jonas continue alongside Kerr in a young spin group that will suit the dry sub-continent conditions.

Sawyer said he was relishing the opportunity to work with the squad in new and testing conditions.

“This is the first time almost all of the squad will have experienced playing in Sri Lanka so it’s a good opportunity for our players to develop their game in testing sub-continent conditions.

“Sri Lanka will pose challenges with the unfamiliar conditions out in the middle, but also with the heat and humidity, so we will need to be able to adapt quickly both on and off the field.

“The group has been really fortunate to have experienced some unique conditions with the recent trips to Antigua and South Africa.

“We adapted to similar heat and conditions in the West Indies, so that experience should bode well in Sri Lanka.

“We also have a handful of players who have played in similar sub-continent conditions in India so that experience will be valuable for us to adapt.”

Auckland Hearts batter Lauren Down is unavailable for the tour due to family reasons, as is Otago Sparks allrounder Hayley Jensen who is recovering from knee surgery undertaken in April.

Canterbury Magicians batter Kate Anderson who has been involved in winter training plans is also unavailable with a finger injury.

Sawyer will be supported by Dean Brownlie (batting coach), Craig Howard (spin bowling coach) and Chennai Super Kings academy coach Sriram Krishnamurthy as tour coach who will join up with the group when they arrive in Sri Lanka.

The touring party departs for Sri Lanka next Thursday 22 June ahead of the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Galle on June 27.

The WHITE FERNS central contract list will be announced on Wednesday 21 June.

WHITE FERNS squad | Tour to Sri Lanka: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie BatesBernadine Bezuidenhout, Eden Carson, Izzy GazeMaddy GreenBrooke HallidayFran JonasMelie Kerr, Jess KerrRosemary MairMolly Penfold, Georgia PlimmerHannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu

WHITE FERNS tour to Sri Lanka
Tue 27 June – 1st ODI, Galle International Stadium, 4:30pm NZT

Fri 30 June – 2nd ODI, Galle International Stadium, 4:30pm NZT

Mon 3 July – 3rd ODI, Galle International Stadium, 4:30pm NZT

Thu 6 July – Warm-up T20 v Sri Lanka President’s XI, Colombo Cricket Club, 4:30pm NZT

Sat 8 July – 1st T20I, P Saravanamuttu Stadium, 4:30pm NZT

Mon 10 July – 2nd T20I, P Saravanamuttu Stadium, 4:30pm NZT

Wed 12 July – 3rd T20I, P Saravanamuttu Stadium, 4:30pm NZT

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