Jacinta Savage pulls up stumps

Not many players can say they were their team's wicketkeeper and ended up with one of the best bowling performances in the record books.

That's the unique career arc of Jacinta Savage who announced her retirement his week from Domestic cricket and her lifelong team, the Canterbury Magicians.

Christchurch born and bred, Savage debuted for the Magicians when she was just 16, clearly a player to watch.

Early days at the bowling crease in 2012 | PHOTOSPORT

Within the space of a week at the end of 2011, she'd debuted in both the List A one-day and T20 Domestic competitions, going on to a lengthy and varied Magicians career - after having emerged through the Canterbury women's Development team and age-group system.

Savage would ultimately play 97 List A one-dayers and gain 75 Domestic T20 caps for the Magicians until her last appearance in February this year (2024).

Jacinta the batter | PHOTOSPORT

In the years in between her debut as a 16-year-old and retirement as a popular 28-year-old stalwart of the team, Savage also got to play a couple of non-List A one-dayers with the Mags against the West Indies and Pakistan - tour warm-up games in Lincoln in 2014 and 2016; as well as for a New Zealand Development XI v Australia U19 in 2019.

She was also called in to play in the New Zealand line-up playing a (non-List A) one-dayer against New Zealand A as another tour warm-up in 2015.

Savage didn't debut as the Magicians keeper, having emerged in an era when the side had a wealth of wicketkeeping talents including incumbent Meg Kendal and English rep Mandie Godliman.

Jacinta the keeper | PHOTOSPORT

But 2014/15 marked a changing of the guard behind the sticks, and Savage took over the gloves for three seasons. She would eventually hand over the wicketkeeping duties to Laura Hughes in 2018/19 and reinvent her role as a pace bowler, as well as batting at six for the team.

Savage’s right-arm pace across the bowling years of her career would ultimately produce 40 one-day and 39 T20 wickets, highlighted by a brilliant Hallyburton Johnstone Shield haul of 6/18 on a memorable day in Whangārei in 2020/21.

Jacinta the outfielder | PHOTOSPORT

It stands as the second biggest haul in the Magicians’ one-day history, behind only former WHITE FERNS pace bowler Rebecca Steele’s freakish 6/8 at Auckland's Melville Park in 2006.

It's also in the top dozen Domestic List A hauls by any New Zealand woman.

A true all-round cricketer and athlete, Savage could chip in handy runs, earning seven one-day fifties with a best of 61 in the one-dayer format, and a 42 PB in the Dream11 Super Smash before she pulled up sticks at 28.

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