Saturday, May 18, 2024

Rosemary Mair, Izzy Gaze return to New Zealand women’s squad for tour to Sri Lanka

Fast bowler Rosemary Mair and wicketkeeper-batter Izzy Gaze will return to the New Zealand women’s squad for the upcoming tour to Sri Lanka, which is also their first trip to the country.

Rosemary last featured for New Zealand against England during the Commonwealth Games last August but missed out on last year’s tour to the West Indies and the visit from Bangladesh, as well as the T20 World Cup earlier this year in South Africa.

Izzy, who is selected as wicketkeeping cover to Bernadine Bezuidenhout, was part of the New Zealand squad which won the ODI and T20I series’ away against West Indies but missed out on selection for the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.

“We’re excited to have Rosemary and Izzy back. Both players have worked hard on their respective games since their last international tours and we’re looking forward to seeing how they handle the challenges that this tour will bring. They both bring their own unique strengths to the group and we hope that they’ll contribute to what will hopefully be a successful tour,” said head coach Ben Sawyer.

With captain Sophie Devine and her veteran opening partner Suzie Bates in the squad, it also has other experienced internationals like Amelia Kerr, Lea Tahuhu and Maddy Green. Eden Carson and Fran Jonas continue alongside Amelia in a young spin group who will be well-suited to play in the dry sub-continent conditions.

From the squad, only Sophie and Suzie have played in Sri Lanka previously. “This is the first time almost all of the squad will have experienced playing in Sri Lanka so it’s a good opportunity for our players to develop their game in testing sub-continent conditions.”

“Sri Lanka will pose challenges with the unfamiliar conditions out in the middle, but also with the heat and humidity, so we will need to be able to adapt quickly both on and off the field. The group has been really fortunate to have experienced some unique conditions with the recent trips to Antigua and South Africa.”

“We adapted to similar heat and conditions in the West Indies, so that experience should bode well in Sri Lanka. We also have a handful of players who have played in similar sub-continent conditions in India so that experience will be valuable for us to adapt,” added Sawyer.

Batter Lauren Down is unavailable for the tour due to family reasons, as is allrounder Hayley Jensen who is recovering from knee surgery undertaken in April. Batter Kate Anderson who has been involved in winter training plans is also unavailable with a finger injury.

Sawyer will be supported by Dean Brownlie (batting coach), Craig Howard (spin bowling coach) and Chennai Super Kings academy coach Sriram Krishnamurthy as tour coach, who will join up with the group when they arrive in Sri Lanka.

The touring party departs for Sri Lanka on June 22, ahead of the first ODI against the hosts in Galle on June 27, followed by three T20Is to be played in Colombo. NZC also said women’s central contract list will be announced on June 21.

New Zealand squad for the Sri Lanka tour: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Eden Carson, Izzy Gaze, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Melie Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu

Tour Schedule

June 27 – 1st ODI, Galle International Stadium

June 30 – 2nd ODI, Galle International Stadium

July 3 – 3rd ODI, Galle International Stadium

July 6 – Warm-up T20 against Sri Lanka President’s XI, Colombo Cricket Club

July 8 – 1st T20I, P Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo

July 10- 2nd T20I, P Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo

July 12 – 3rd T20I, P Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo

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