Thursday, April 18, 2024

NZC: Jensen to lead strong New Zealand A Women’s squads

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Photo Credit: New Zealand Cricket

Seven players with WHITE FERNS experience have been named in the New Zealand A squads to take on England A in three T20s and three One Day matches, starting in Queenstown next week.

The 14-strong NZ A squads are the first to be selected for more than 20 years and the first to face another A-level opponent – as on the previous occasions, in 1998 and 2002, they were pitted against Australian youth teams.

The series, to be played in Queenstown, Dunedin and Nelson, is designed to assist players to bridge the gap between domestic and international cricket.

New Zealand Cricket Head of Women’s High Performance Liz Green said the historic tour was an essential component of the development pathway.

“To see this tour come to fruition is very special,” said Green.

“It speaks to our broader pathway strategy focused on providing more playing opportunities for our talented athletes.

“We’ve been working to develop an A programme for a while now as we know how integral elevated development opportunities are to the growth of players.

“To continue to produce high-calibre players that can compete with the best in the world, we need to make opportunities like this occur regularly in the schedule.”

Green said selection was based on domestic performances with an eye to developing future WHITE FERNS.

“It was a robust selection process,” she said.

“The selection panel worked alongside Major Association coaches to identify strong domestic performers and skillsets that aligned to WHITE FERNS succession plans.

“There was a key focus on looking at high-priority development prospects and identifying where they could fit in the future WHITE FERNS set up.

“Picking two squads has allowed us to expose a host of different players at this next level and test their readiness for international cricket.”

WHITE FERN Hayley Jensen will captain the sides having recently returned to domestic cricket following a knee injury at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup last February.

Jensen, an experienced pace-bowling allrounder, is looking forward to taking on the captaincy.

“I’ve been around cricket for a long time now and I’m really excited to have this opportunity to step up and lead the sides,” said Jensen.

“We’re expecting England A to be really strong so it’s going to be an exciting challenge.”

Jensen made her return for the Otago Sparks in December and said she’d learnt a lot in her journey back from injury.

“It took probably a bit longer than expected to get back on the field.

“I’ve been working really hard on my recovery, prehab and rehab, and learning how to adapt to new ways of going about things.

“This A series gives me more game time to continue to build on that.

“There’s a big winter ahead for the WHITE FERNS and this series gives me more opportunity to push to get back in that side.”

The squads will be coached by Major Association coaches Central Hinds’ Jacob Oram (T20) and Otago Sparks’ Craig Cumming (One Day), with assistance from NZC Pathway coaches Sara McGlashan and Graeme Aldridge.

New Zealand A T20 Squad

Kate Anderson (Canterbury Magicians)
Sarah Asmussen (Canterbury Magicians)
Bernadine Bezuidenhout (Northern Brave) *Game 1
Prue Catton (Auckland Hearts)
Flora Devonshire (Central Hinds)
Claudia Green (Central Hinds)
Mikaela Greig (Central Hinds)
Bree Illing (Auckland Hearts)
Polly Inglis (Otago Sparks)
Hayley Jensen (C) (Otago Sparks)
Leigh Kasperek (Wellington Blaze)
Molly Penfold (Auckland Hearts)
Georgia Plimmer (Wellington Blaze)
Saachi Shahri (Auckland Hearts) *Games 2 & 3

Bernadine Bezuidenhout will be available for selection in the first T20 fixture to obtain game time ahead of the WHITE FERNS Life Direct T20I series against England as part of her return from injury.

New Zealand A One Day Squad

Kate Anderson (Canterbury Magicians)
Caitlin Blakely (Otago Sparks)
Emma Black (Otago Sparks)
Eden Carson (Otago Sparks)
Prue Catton (Auckland Hearts*Games 2 & 3
Mikaela Greig (Central Hinds)
Polly Inglis (Otago Sparks)
Hayley Jensen (C) (Otago Sparks)
Leigh Kasperek (Wellington Blaze) *Game 1
Nensi Patel (Northern Brave)
Molly Penfold (Auckland Hearts)
Georgia Plimmer (Wellington Blaze)
Jess Simmons (Canterbury Magicians)
Saachi Shahri (Auckland Hearts)

Leigh Kasperek will transition into the WHITE FERNS squad for the 4th and 5th Life Direct T20I.

NZ A v England A Schedule

Thursday 14 March – Warm up T20 v England, Sir John Davies Oval, Queenstown

Saturday 16 March – 1st T20, Sir John Davies Oval, Queenstown
Sunday 17 March – 2nd T20, Sir John Davies Oval, Queenstown
Wednesday 20 March – 3rd T20, Sir John Davies Oval, Queenstown

Saturday 23 March – 1st One Day, University of Otago Oval, Dunedin
Thursday 28 March – 2nd One Day, Saxton Oval, Nelson
Saturday 30 March – 3rd One Day, Saxton Oval, Nelson

The matches will be live-scored at nzc.nz and the NZC App, and live-streamed on NZC YouTube.

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