Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine assert that they still have a significant role to play in leading New Zealand through a time of “massive change” as they prepare for the future. They maintain that they still have plenty of “fire in the belly” and that the Commonwealth Games are not planned as their final event.
Rarely does a big competition mark the start of a new cycle rather than the end of one, but with Birmingham 2022 coming less than five months after the ODI World Cup, teams have had a fresh perspective as attention turns to the T20 World Cup in South Africa the following year.
Perhaps more than most, New Zealand has best embodied that. Amy Satterthwaite’s international retirement was caused by a shocking contract rejection, while her wife.
However, it was the wise leaders who guided New Zealand to triumph. First T20I half-century since 2019, Bates slammed an unbeaten 91 at the top of the order, while Devine put on an all-around performance, scoring 48 with the bat before bowling 3 for 37 to become the first New Zealand woman to surpass 100 T20I wickets. Devine responded in a deadpan manner, laughing off claims that her worldwide career was about to come to an end.
“Are you suggesting that I stop working? I’m just kidding,” she stated after the game. “Earlier this year, I wanted to go to the home World Cup, and I planned to reconsider [after], but I definitely still have a lot of fire in my gut.
And, with some younger girls still around, “I feel like I have a role to play in helping bring them through and helping us transition in this next era for New Zealand women’s cricket,” she continued.
Devine’s first T20I appearance came in the White Ferns’ second game in the format in 2006, when she was just 17 years old. She is happy to be in charge of bringing a new generation of kids into the system as captain of the team at the age of 32.Devine said of the debutants, “They certainly make me feel my age, which they sort of remind me on a daily basis, but it’s just been really great.” “I believe they fit in really well with the group because of how they joined. I believe it’s a testament to the culture we’ve fostered within the White Ferns that athletes of that calibre can join, young or old, and still excel.
Bates reiterated her captain’s views and added that playing with players like Amelia Kerr motivates the more experienced players to keep improving.
In regards to her friendship with Kerr, Bates noted, “We love getting together in the nets and in the middle. “And see, she motivates me to play the game better. She is top-notch, and having someone of her calibre in the group is just wonderful. We discussed the shots we were going to take because we are familiar with one another’s games. She has huge dreams and often mentions during practise how the two of us will stand on the podium.”
They are kept alert by the youthful players as well as the unexpected absences of Satterthwaite and Tahuhu.
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