Photo Credit: Central Districts Cricket Association
The biggest week of the summer is underway in Lincoln, Canterbury today for New Zealand’s emerging female cricketers.
The NZC Gillette Venus Under 19 Nationals is the top age-group tier for young Kiwi women and features a mix of both 50-over one-day and T20 contests played across a busy week at NZC’s High Performance Centre.
The tournament is an important one for aspiring Domestic representatives, and players have multiple opportunities to show off their wares against their peers from around the country.
It’s also a chance to put their name forward as New Zealand, and the rest of the cricket world, starts building towards the next ICC Under 19 Women’s World Cup – the second edition set to be hosted by Malaysia and Thailand in 2025.
Wellington Under 19 has headed to Lincoln as the defending champion and was put into bat by Canterbury Under 19 as the first match got underway on Lincoln Green on a fresh morning that made batting first challenging for all the teams.
Canterbury features young Magicians players Izzy Sharp and Abigail Hotton, and they’ll be chasing 240 this afternoon after Wellington was the only side to make it through their full 50 overs, reaching 239/8.
Otago Under 19 captain Louisa Kotkamp likewise put perennially strong Central Districts Under 19 side into bat on Lincoln No.3.
CD is captained by Central Hinds batter and 2023 ICC Women’s World Cup representative, Emma McLeod who’s appearing for the third and final time at this level – alongside a fellow contracted Central Hinds rising star in pace bowler Aniela Apperley.
It was Kotkamp (4/36) who led the way with the ball as Otago bowled out CD for 207 in 48.5 overs, CD wicketkeeper Sophie Campbell top-scoring with an unbeaten 68 as her side rallied from a tough start.
Auckland Under 19 was also sent in by Northern Districts Under 19 in the livestreamed match on Bert Sutcliffe Oval, and were bowled out for 209 with three balls left in the innings after ND’s Dayle Anderson, from Papatoetoe, got her tournament off to a brilliant start with a tidy bag of 5/23 off just seven overs.
A string of 50-over matches begins the tournament week, with the results on the one-day and T20 tables to be combined to determine the season champion on Friday, 12 January.
All matches are played on Lincoln’s three adjacent grounds, live-scored at www.nzc.nz and on the NZC app, and games on Bert Sutcliffe Oval are also livestreamed on NZC YouTube.