With 13 wins in 21 matches, New Zealand finished third in the ICC Women's Championship. With power-hitting batters, wicket-taking bowlers, a mix of experience and young talent on its side, it will enter the tournament as one of the favourites.
Suzie Bates, the all-rounder, who has 682 Women’s World Cup runs and eight wickets to her name, will lead a strong and exciting batting line-up. She and Rachel Priest can get their side off to blazing starts, with Sophie Devine too having a proven ability to clear the boundaries at will. Amy Satterthwaite, who made history last year by scoring hundreds in four consecutive One-Day International innings, offers stability.
Leigh Kasperek, the off-spinner, returns to the squad after being out of action due to injury. The pace attack will be led by Lea Tahuhu and Holly Huddleston. Eyes will also be trained on Amelia Kerr, the 16-year-old leg-spinner, who is set to become New Zealand's youngest representative at the World Cup.
Many of the top players have good experience of English conditions, having participated in the domestic season and in the Super League last year. Its biggest challenge will be in soaking up the pressure in knock-out games – it has, after all, finished second in the World Cup on three occasions.
After sealing a top four spot in the ICC Women’s Championship, New Zealand played Australia in a three-match ODI series, which it lost 1-2. Prior to that, its best performance came in the five-match ODI series against Pakistan at home, which it swept 5-0.
PREVIOUS WORLD CUPS:
New Zealand has appeared in all 10 editions of the World Cup so far. Its best finish came in 2000, when it beat Australia to lift the trophy for the first time. In the 2013 World Cup, it beat South Africa and Pakistan in the group stage to reach the Super Sixes, however lost two of its three matches to England and the West Indies to finish a disappointing fourth. Debbie Hockley, the former captain and now head of New Zealand Cricket, is the leading run-scorer in the tournament.
Bates was the highest run-getter for New Zealand, scoring 987 runs to be third-highest overall in the Women’s Championship. Having played 98 ODIs for 3492 runs at an average of 41.08, she's been one of the batting mainstays of her side. She has been a part of the 2009 edition and led the team in 2013. The onus will be on her to drive her side's campaign.
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 (wk), Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.
24 June: New Zealand Women v Sri Lanka Women in Bristol
28 June: South Africa Women v New Zealand Women in Derby
2 July: Australia Women v New Zealand Women in Bristol
6 July: New Zealand Women v West Indies Women in Taunton
8 July: New Zealand Women v Pakistan Women in Taunton
12 July: England Women v New Zealand Women in Derby
15 July: India Women v New Zealand Women in Derby