Energy of young guns impresses coach Lees

SHARON REECE
Last updated 05:00 06/03/2014

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White Ferns cricket coach Warren Lees hopes youthful enthusiasm will play a key part in the Women's World Twenty20 championship in Bangladesh later this month.

Felicity Leydon-Davis, Hayley Jensen, Holly Huddleston and Samantha Curtis are the team's newest members, each making their international debut during the ODI series against the West Indies last month.

The team has spent the past week in Invercargill training and playing Twenty20 matches at Queens Park against the Caribbean team.

Lees said the decision to introduce these players to the squad before the World Twenty20 tournament was vindicated by the recent 3-0 clean sweep of the ODI series against the West Indies.

"They've come in and they've been really keen, they've listened and I've had a group of older players looking after them," he said. "Youthful enthusiasm is a good thing to have. We've got a good balance in this squad."

Leydon-Davis, whose debut figures were an outstanding five for 18 from 8.2 overs, said the West Indies series had given the new players much-needed experience as they entered the World Twenty20 tournament. "It's given us the opportunity to gel together as a team and create the environment we want, to do well at the world tournament," she said.

"If you make one mistake while you're bowling, then you're obviously going to get punished whereas in domestic [cricket] I think you can get away with it a bit more," Jensen said.

"It's a pretty surreal feeling, and hopefully I can cement my spot in the team and be here for years to come."

The squad will travel to Bangladesh this month with their first warmup match on March 23 against Australia, who hold the title after winning in both 2010 and 2012.

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- The Southland Times

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