New Zealand captain Sophie Devine stated that her team has set their sight on winning the upcoming Women’s T20 World Cup, to be held in South Africa from February 10-26.
New Zealand’s best showing in the Women’s T20 World Cup has been runners-up finishes in 2009 and 2010. When the tournament was last held in 2020 in Australia, they had to make an early exit from the group stages.
“Like every other team that’s here – we are here to win it. We know what it takes to win games of cricket and the style of play that can help us achieve that. It’s now up to us to be able to do that game after game under the pressures of a World Cup,” she was quoted as saying by ICC.
Though she won’t be taking part in New Zealand’s practice matches due to stress fracture in left foot, Sophie was quick in pointing out that their preparations for the marquee tournament had been strong.
“We’re fortunate that the World Cup is at the back end of our home summer, so we’ve had plenty of cricket recently. We have all been playing in the (New Zealand domestic T20 tournament) Super Smash… as well as T20 and ODI series against Bangladesh before Christmas, so we feel as prepared as we will ever be.”
Sophie, who has featured in all seven T20 World Cups thus far, is also upbeat about the players in the New Zealand set-up who can make a splash in the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup.
“Our experienced players such as Suzie Bates and Melie (Amelia) Kerr are going to be key players but I’m really excited by our young guns coming through such as Fran Jonas and Georgia Plimmer – both are playing at the U19 World Cup and will certainly be the future of the White Ferns.”
“It’s an exciting time for Molly Penfold and Eden Carson who take part in their very first ICC World Cups, and we also welcome back wicketkeeper-batter Bernadine Bezuidenhout, who has spent the last two years away from the game.”
“We’ve selected a team that provides us with plenty of options with the ball, particularly in the spin department. And with the bat we have experience throughout our squad which will hold us in good stead at this pinnacle event,” she elaborated.
Sophie signed off by saying the T20I format has been hugely important in leading the growth of women’s cricket. “It’s been an incredible time to be involved with women’s cricket and the T20 format has been a real driver for the growth in the game. The professionalism has increased dramatically and we’re seeing that in the way players are clearing the rope, athleticism in the field and bowlers bowling quicker.”