Amelia Kerr, the 16-year-old legspinner, is set to become New Zealand's youngest representative at the ICC Women's World Cup, after she was on Tuesday (May 15) named in 15-member squad for the tournament starting in England next month.
Kerr, who made her her One-Day International debut against Pakistan Women in November last year had a strong start to her career, picking up 10 wickets in seven matches at an average of 22.90.
“It’s really exciting to have Amelia in the squad and she’s proved herself more than ready for the big stage,” Haidee Tiffen, New Zealand Women coach, said.
Sophie Devine, the hard-hitting allrounder, and Leigh Kasperek, the offspinner, return to the squad after long injury breaks.
Devine had dislocated her thumb in the Women's Big Bash League while Kasperek, one of New Zealand’s brightest performers at the ICC Women’s World T20 last year, had multiple finger fractures.
Hannah Rowe, the pacer, who was left out of the Australia tour, returns.
The side led by Suzie Bates has an impressive blend of youth and experience with six of the 15 players having played more than 50 ODIs.
“We’ve had a lot of players put their hands up domestically, internationally and during our two recent camps – so the last few spots were particularly fiercely contested,” said Tiffen.
“With the likes of Suzie Bates, Amy Satterthwaite, Katey Martin and Sophie Devine, we’re not short on leaders in the group.
“There’s been a real focus on our team-first mentality and everyone’s bought into that – which means we’ll turn up in England as a tight, motivated unit.”
Bates, who will be captaining the side in her third ODI World Cup, believed it would be the “most competitive World Cup ever”.
“We know we’ll have to be on the ball from game one if we want to earn the right to contest the finals and maybe get to that big final game at the Home of Cricket."
New Zealand automatically qualified for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 as one of the top four teams in the ICC Women’s Championship.
The team will assemble for a pre-tournament camp in Hampshire from June 11, before the opening game against Sri Lanka in Bristol on June 24.
New Zealand Women squad: Suzie Bates (capt), Erin Bermingham, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.