Former New Zealand cricketer Brendon McCullum said that the women’s team was “very much in the mix” in the ICC World Cup despite the White Ferns losing three of the five games they’ve played so far and being placed fifth in the eight-team mega event.
The White Ferns’ latest loss came at the hands of South Africa who won by two wickets with three balls remaining on Thursday. The Proteas chased down New Zealand’s 228 all out in 49.3 overs with Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka taking them over the line.
The White Ferns are currently on four points from five games and have two more league games to go before the top-four teams move into the last-four knock-out stage of the tournament.
However, McCullum, a veteran of 100-plus Tests and 260 ODIs, is optimistic Sophie Devine’s team will make the semifinal grade at home.
“They’re not done yet,” McCullum said on SENZ Breakfast on Friday. “Definitely, I think they’re not too far away. They’re very much still in the mix.
“I think they’re going to have to win all of their games, but you expect that, and if they do make it then I think they’ll be dangerous.”
The White Ferns will take on defending champions England at Eden Park on Sunday, and McCullum believes the hosts have the edge. It is a must-win game for both sides as England have only won one match in round-robin play.
“Sophie Devine has had a wonderful tournament so far, and she is a tough character,” McCullum said. Devine was the standout performer with the bat against South Africa, scoring 93 off 101 balls in a losing cause.
“They’ve (White Ferns) played some good cricket, haven’t always had things go how I guess they would like. They’ve lost a couple of close games, but I don’t think all is lost,” averred McCullum.