New Zealand unveils Women’s squad for the white-ball tour of England; Lauren Down returns

Jun 6, 2024

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New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has revealed the Women’s squad for the upcoming white-ball tour of England, starting June 26. The tour kicks off with a three-match ODI series in Chester-le-Street, followed by a five-match T20I series commencing on July 6 in Southampton.

Lauren Down’s comeback

Lauren Down makes her much-anticipated return to the New Zealand women’s team after taking a break to become a mother. Down, who last played in the T20 World Cup in February 2023, has been included in the one-day squad, marking her comeback to international cricket.

Squad changes and player updates

Returning players

Molly Penfold is back as a seam bowling option, following her impressive performances against England A in March, where she finished as the team’s second-highest wicket-taker.

Injuries and absences

Pace bowler Rosemary Mair has been ruled out of the tour due to persistent back pain, which also kept her out of New Zealand’s home ODI series against England in April. Additionally, Hayley Jensen was not considered for selection as she is undergoing rehabilitation for a calf injury.

Lea Tahuhu will join the squad for the T20I series after remaining in New Zealand for the birth of her second child.

Also READ: BCCI unveils India Women squads for the multi-format series against South Africa

Coach’s remarks

Head coach Ben Sawyer expressed his satisfaction with Down’s return, highlighting her hard work over the past four months to regain confidence for her comeback. He emphasized the importance of each series in determining the best playing XI, especially with upcoming T20 and One Day World Cups.

Sawyer praised the team’s intensive six-week training, noting their readiness despite previous home losses to England, and acknowledged the challenge of playing a top-tier team on their home turf, while expressing optimism about the team’s preparedness for success.

“We’re really pleased to have Lauren back in the WHITE FERNS. She’s been working hard over the past four months to get herself into a position where she feels confident to play, and this tour feels like the right time to bring her back into the fold. Every series is an opportunity to test what our best playing XI looks like, and with T20 and One Day World Cups looming it will be good to see where Lauren and Mikaela could fit in,” said head coach Ben Sawyer in a statement.

“The players have spent the past six weeks training incredibly hard and we’ve been ticking all the boxes that we can, to get ready. When we faced England at home we didn’t get the results we were after but we did see gutsy performances from a range of players, which was really promising. Anytime you play a world-class team like England in their own backyard it’s going to be a challenge. But with the work that’s been put in, we’ve got ourselves into the best position possible to succeed,” added Sawyer.

New Zealand squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Lauren Down (ODIs), Izzy Gaze (wk), Maddy Green, Mikaela Greig, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Leigh Kasperek (T20Is), Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu (T20Is).

Also READ: Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur predicts the semifinalists of Women’s T20 World Cup 2024

This article was first published at WomenCricket.com, a Cricket Times company.

For latest cricket news & updates, visit CricketTimes.com.

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