Devine to wind down cricket in favour of hockey

SAM WORTHINGTON
Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012
Sophie Devine
MULTI-TALENTED: Dual international Sophie Devine remains in limbo between cricket and hockey.

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Dual international Sophie Devine will play cricket for New Zealand at next year's World Cup before committing to hockey fulltime.

The 23-year-old, at present captaining and starring for the Wellington Blaze, has 70 international cricket caps to her name, to go with 36 hockey ones.

She will play in the 50-over World Cup in India in February before trading in a cricket bat for a hockey stick.

Devine missed out on Olympic selection this year but is in the 2013 Black Sticks squad.

"Sophie has given us a guarantee she's going to commit, post-World Cup, to the programme," Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said.

"She's still yet to prove herself, that she can make the group moving forward, but I think it's a step in the right direction. She needs to fully commit to our programme, otherwise it's just too difficult for her.

"As much as we'd love people to be able to do two sports, it's just you can't really give it 120 per cent. So I think it's really crucial that she understands - and she does."

Hager also explained the reasons for demoting Samantha Harrison (93 caps) to the development squad.

"She needs to go and refresh herself a little bit. Her form at the Olympics probably wasn't where we wanted it to be and she needs to continue in our programme and commit to the hard yards and fight to get back in. So her next port of call will be the NHL [national league], for her to break back into the group."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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