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New Zealand Women

Jess Watkin, Bernadine Bezuidenhout called up for tour of Ireland and England

New Zealand Women news

New Zealand to play bilateral limited-overs series against the host nations, as well as a T20I tri-series against England and South Africa.

Jess Watkin and Bernadine Bezuidenhout are the new faces in the New Zealand squad, who will travel to England and Ireland to play series of limited-overs matches, as well as a triangular Twenty20 International series against England and South Africa, in June-July.

The rest of the 15-member White Ferns touring party, to be led by Suzie Bates, is along expected lines.

Watkin, 19, is a big-hitting batter, while Bezuidenhout, the 24-year-old former South Africa international, is a top-order batter who also keeps wickets.


“Jess and Bernadine are tremendous talents with lots of potential,” said Kirsty Bond, the New Zealand Women selector. “They’re aggressive players who possess a broad skill-set and that allows them to adapt to changing game situations quickly. The women’s game is evolving all the time and we feel we need players who will suit the positive and attacking brand of cricket the White Ferns want to play.”

Watkin, who was 2016/17 Player of the Year for Central Districts Women, scored a double-century in the New Zealand Cricket National Women's Under-21 tournament last year.

“Jess is a special player who we’ve been keeping an eye on since she debuted domestically in 2013,” Bond said. “She’s an explosive batter who hits the ball hard and is a more than useful off-spin option, so she offers us great versatility. We’ve also been impressed by the work she’s done on her fitness and physical conditioning over the past season.”

Bezuidenhout turned out in four one-day internationals and seven T20Is for South Africa between September 2014 and March 2015 with moderate returns but has impressed enough in her three-year stand-down period to be picked up by New Zealand once she became available for selection.

Bezuidenhout turned out in four ODIs and seven T20Is for South Africa before shifting to New Zealand
Bezuidenhout turned out in four ODIs and seven T20Is for South Africa before shifting to New Zealand


“Bernadine’s an exciting player and proved her talent by topping the women’s domestic T20 runs table this season,” said Bond. “She’s an innovative player with a wide skill-set and like Jess, plays that aggressive style of cricket which we believe we need going forward.

“Bernadine’s also an excellent athlete who’s good in the park and that aligns with our intention to build a multi-faceted team-unit, particularly for T20 cricket.”

New Zealand are ranked No.3 in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Team Rankings, while England, the 50-over world champions, are No.2, South Africa No.6 and Ireland No.10.

Squad: Suzie Bates (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Bernadine Bezuidenhout (wk), Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin (wk), Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Jess Watkin.

Suzie Bates will lead the 15-member squad in Ireland and England
Suzie Bates will lead the 15-member squad in Ireland and England


Schedule
Tour of Ireland
6 June: One-off T20I v Ireland at YMCA Cricket Club, Dublin
8 June: First ODI v Ireland at YMCA Cricket Club, Dublin
10 June: Second ODI v Ireland at The Vineyard, Dublin
13 June: Third ODI v Ireland at Castle Avenue, Clontarf

T20I Tri-Series in England (New Zealand’s matches)
20 June: New Zealand v South Africa at County Ground, Taunton
23 June: England v New Zealand at County Ground, Taunton
28 June: New Zealand v South Africa at County Ground, Bristol
28 June: England v New Zealand at County Ground, Bristol

Tour of England
9 July: First ODI v England at Headingley, Leeds
12 July: Second ODI at County Ground, Derby
15 July: Third ODI at Grace Road, Leicester

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