Devine and Browne in White Ferns squad
The New Zealand women's cricket side welcome back two match winners for next month's Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Christchurch-based Sophie Devine and Matamata's Nicola Browne were yesterday included in Gary Stead's 14-strong squad, bolstering an already well balanced side.
Stead is confident his side can go one better than the last T20 World Cup, in the West Indies in 2010, when they lost the final to Australia.
They are not short of quality preparation because Stead took 17 players to Sri Lanka this month for a 10-day camp to acclimatise to the heat and humidity and adjust to the slower, lower pitches.
"Only three of our players have played on the sub-continent before so it was about getting them used to the conditions and what it's going to be like on and off the field during the tournament," he said.
Devine, who attempted to make the Black Sticks Olympic side and is still balancing hockey and cricket commitments, was not on that trip but rejoins the team for the World Cup and will add vital power with the bat and a wicket-taking option with the ball.
Browne, named player of the tournament in the Caribbean two years ago, has come out of retirement and, like Devine, gives Stead another power option with the bat. Her pace with the ball will also be welcome, but her return did possibly squeeze out Canterbury's Lea Tahuhu from the World Cup squad.
Tahuhu and Canterbury team-mate Rachel Candy went to Sri Lanka but missed the squad, as did Aucklander Maddy Green and Felicity Leydon-Davis, of Northern Districts. Tahuhu and Candy, both pace bowlers, also paid the price for the tournament being played in conditions that aid spin bowlers. Stead has named four spinners and said three could play in each game.
Canterbury's Frankie Mackay and Lucy Doolan will take the offspinning duties, Erin Bermingham bowls legspin and Morna Nielsen is a slow left-armer.
New Zealand's first match is against the West Indies on September 26. Also in their pool are Sri Lanka and South Africa.
White Ferns: Suzie Bates (c), Amy Satterthwaite, Erin Bermingham, Frankie Mackay, Kate Broadmore, Katey Martin, Katie Perkins, Liz Perry, Lucy Doolan, Morna Nielsen, Nicola Browne, Sara McGlashan, Sian Ruck, Sophie Devine.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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