Wicket-keeper Jess McFadyen set for New Zealand debut in upcoming series against Bangladesh

Wicket-keeper-obatter Jess McFadyen is set to make her international cricket debut through New Zealand’s upcoming home series against Bangladesh.

Jess, 31, is the only new face in an otherwise unchanged New Zealand squad that won both the ODI and T20I series on the recent tour to the West Indies, with fellow wicket-keeper Izzy Gaze making way as she’s with the U19 squad on the tour of India.

New Zealand head coach Ben Sawyer said the series against Bangladesh, which comprises three T20s and three ODIs, was a good opportunity for Jess to show her skills on the international stage, especially with the Women’s T20 World Cup happening in South Africa next year.

“Debuting for your country is always a special moment, so we’re delighted to be welcoming Jess into the side for what will be an exciting series. Jess brings great energy — when we worked together at the Commonwealth Games I was really impressed with what she brought to the team environment — and she has good experience with the bat, especially in that middle order.”

Jess had to bide her time in getting an international cap since receiving her first central contract last season. She was included in the squad for last year’s tour of England and the recent 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, but didn’t feature in either campaign and missed out on selection for the tour to West Indies.

“The objective is always to go out and win games of cricket but we also want to make sure we prepare thoroughly for the World Cup next year. We used the recent series in the West Indies to try different combinations with bat and ball and we also want to do that with the wicket-keepers; we want to see what Jess can bring to the team.”

“We’re also in a fortunate position that we have a New Zealand Development team touring India, which Izzy (Gaze) is involved in, so we-re able to give both players experience in different conditions and against different opposition,” added Sawyer.

New Zealand will be led by Sophie Devine in both series against Bangladesh and will be joined by familiar faces Suzie Bates, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Maddy Green, Lea Tahuhu and Hayley Jensen, who join the squad after participating in the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia.

But Lea, the fast bowler, and batter Georgia Plimmer have been included in the squad for the T20Is, which start at Hagley Oval on December 2. Seamers Hannah Rowe and Molly Penfold will join the squad only for the ODI series, which begins at the Basin Reserve on December 11.

The visit from Bangladesh will be New Zealand’s last official series before the Women’s T20 World Cup next year and Sawyer said he would be using the series to complete final preparations before departing for South Africa.

“Over the last couple of months, we’ve put together a blueprint of how we want to play, particularly in the T20 format, with an eye on the World Cup next year. This tour will be a great opportunity to continue working and refining those plans and making any necessary adjustments.”

“At the moment we think we’ve got a pretty good style of play and so it will be about putting all of that together, on what should be some good wickets at home. We’ve got six matches at six different locations around the country, so we’re really looking forward to getting around, experiencing different conditions, and interacting with our fans around the country.”

The series will be the first time Bangladesh have ever played a bilateral series in New Zealand but will be their second visit this year, following their ODI World Cup campaign in March. The New Zealand squad will assemble at Christchurch on Monday, ahead of the first T20I at Hagley Oval on December 2.

New Zealand squad v Bangladesh: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Jess McFadyen, Molly Penfold (ODIs only), Georgia Plimmer (T20s only), Hannah Rowe (ODIs only), and Lea Tahuhu (T20s only)

Schedule

December 2 – 1st T20I, Hagley Oval, Christchurch

December 4 – 2nd T20I, University of Otago Oval, Dunedin

December 7 – 3rd T20I, John Davies Oval, Queenstown

December 11 – 1st ODI, Basin Reserve, Wellington

December 14 – 2nd ODI, McLean Park, Napier

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