Photo Credit: Central District Cricket
Northern Districts will welcome off-spin allrounder, batting powerhouse and 2018 WHITE FERN Jess Watkin into their women’s squad for the 2023/24 season.
Whanganui-raised Watkin has played for the Central Hinds since the outset of her Domestic career in 2013, and has a long list of Domestic honours, including having being named as Central Hinds Player of the Year in 2016/17, 2019/20 and 2021/22 and captaining or co-captaining the team in recent summers.
Watkin has also played six one-day internationals and nine T20 internationals, having smashed a half century on both her T20i and ODI debuts on the 2018 WHITE FERNS tour of Ireland and England.
More recently based in Manawatu, Watkin said saying goodbye to Central Districts will be tough after almost a decade in green, and at the forefont of the flagship team.
“I am very grateful for the opportunities and support CD have given me over the last 10 years. They have supported me since I was a young girl, and have allowed me to grow to where I am today.”
At the same time, she said she is looking forward to the next chapter of her career.
“I am excited to be given this opportunity to play for the Brave and be part of an awesome organisation. I’m at the stage of my career where I need a change to help me keep pushing forward. I’m excited to work with the staff at ND, and to work hard and challenge myself.”
ND General Manager Performance & Talent, Ian Sandbrook, said ND is excited to have Watkin in the mix.
“She is a quality player and person that will add considerable skill and experience to our playing group. We’re excited to see what she can do in a ND and Brave shirt this season.”
Along with her on-field skills, Watkin will also be bringing her cricket knowledge and administrative experience to the Association’s staff as a Development Activator, helping deliver cricket in the community from July 2023 onwards.
The news is the second big change for the Central Hinds group this week, following yesterday’s announcement that Head Coach Jamie Watkins is stepping down after six years with the team.
Watkins will remain deeply involved in CD women’s cricket, as he focuses on his other role for Central Disticts as the driving force behind the women’s pathway and development tiers.
Major Associations will announce their contracted female players for 2023/24 in the coming months.