Friday, June 14, 2024

NZC: Bernadine Bezuidenhout retires from international cricket

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Photo Credit: New Zealand Cricket

Wicket-keeper batter Bernadine Bezuidenhout has called time on her international playing career.

Born in South Africa, Bezuidenhout made her debut for her birth country in 2014 before moving to New Zealand and debuting for the WHITE FERNS in 2018.

She is one of only nine female cricketers to have represented two nations at the highest level (South Africa 4x ODIs and 7x T20Is, New Zealand 16x ODIs and 22 x T20Is).

Outside of cricket, Bezuidenhout has led a distinguished career in the non-profit and social enterprise, founding The EPIC Sports Project Charitable Trust that aims to use sport to inspire hope and belonging in young people in high-deprivation communities and break barriers to participation in sport.

Bezuidenhout reflected warmly on her international career.

“It’s been such a great ride,” said Bezuidenhout.

“Playing for the WHITE FERNS has been a huge privilege and honour and it’s left me with the fondest memories.

“The journey has taught me so much and I’ll be forever grateful to everyone who has been on the path with me.”

Bezuidenhout said her charitable trust, The EPIC Sports Project, was at the forefront of her decision to retire.

“I’m at peace with this decision but it wasn’t an easy one to make.

“I’ve struggled to find a balance between my work and playing career for a while now, and after a lot of thought and reflection I feel that it’s the right time to pivot and put my full focus on The EPIC Sports Project.”

WHITE FERNS head coach Ben Sawyer thanked Bernie for her committed service.

“I want to thank Bernie for the contributions she’s made to the WHITE FERNS on the field, and for the caring qualities she brought to the group off the field,” said Sawyer.

“We’re proud of the work that Bernie does outside of cricket and I have no doubt she’ll continue to make a positive impact on the lives of many.”

Bezuidenhout will remain available for her Major Association Northern Districts and has confirmed her intention to continue playing domestic cricket next season.

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