Thursday, April 18, 2024

NZC: Sparks farewell Sophie Oldershaw

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Photo Credit: Otago Cricket

Otago Sparks leg-spinner Sophie Oldershaw has announced her retirement from Domestic cricket at just 25.

Devastating on her day, the tall tweaker debuted for the Sparks in both formats in 2017/18, after emerging through the NZC Women’s Under 21 annual tournament (since superceded by Women’s Under 19s).

She went on to make 89 appearances in all across the two NZC women’s Domestic white-ball formats, with 44 List A games and 45 T20s.

In the List A Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, Oldershaw finishes with a careeer tally of 35 wickets, her best bowling figures a stunning 5/19, her only bag, in 2019/20 against the Canterbury Magicians.

In T20 matches, she claimed 36 wickets with her best bowling performance 3/16.

Known for her unique right-arm googlies, Oldershaw excelled in the challenging Dream11 Super Smash arena, often delivering crucial overs during the death overs of matches.

Her dedication to the sport – balancing a full-time career as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist alongside training for and playing cricket, exemplifies her unwavering commitment to the Sparks, said Otago Sparks Head Coach Craig Cumming.

“It is mixed emotions having Sophie retire from the Sparks,” said Cumming.

“We are all very excited for Sophie as she heads into the next exciting chapter of her life, but also sad that we’re losing a highly valued and respected member from the Sparks, on and off the field”

Cumming said Oldershaw embodied everything that is special about the Sparks’ team environment.

“It’s special because good people come first, and Sophie has always been a leader in this area.

“I know the Sparks will give Sophie the deserved goodbye and celebrate with her on a wonderful career.”

Oldershaw said she had enjoyed every moment of her seven-year Sparks career.

“Thank you to my teammates, coaches, and support staff who have been instrumental in my development as a cricketer and as an individual,” Oldershaw said.

“I can’t think of a better team to have gone through this experience with, and I look forward to watching and cheering on the Sparks from the banks next season.”

Oldershaw’s final appearance for the Sparks was in February 2024, at her home ground in Dunedin against Northern Districts in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield – a national trophy the Sparks went on to win.

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