Kate Heffernan playing for the Otago Sparks. Image: Photosport

New faces in WHITE FERNS squads to face West Indies

Otago Sparks teenager Kate Heffernan and Auckland Hearts batswoman Lauren Down are in line to debut for the WHITE FERNS against the West Indies at home next month.
 
A talented left-arm seam bowler, 18-year-old Heffernan’s been selected in the 13-player T20I squad, while 22-year-old Down has made the ODI side off the back of another strong season with the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield winning Hearts.
 
WHITE FERNS coach Haidee Tiffen said it was the raw talent and athleticism of the players, alongside their consistent performances, that caught her and selector Kirsty Bond’s attention.
 
“Both Kate and Lauren are impressive athletes in their own right and will definitely bring that dynamic edge that we’re looking for,” said Tiffen.
 
“The fact that Kate is a left-armer was certainly a factor in her selection as she will bring that point of difference. We see an immense amount of potential in Kate, particularly as we look ahead a bit further to a World Cup in New Zealand in 2021.

Auckland Heart Lauren Down. Image: Photosport

“Lauren’s been on our radar for a while in both formats and we also think she’s one for the future. She’s explosive with the bat and is a terrific fielder across the park.”
 
Canterbury Magicians all-rounder and Kate Ebrahim (nee Broadmore) returns to the ODI squad, while Northern Spirit’s T20 leading run-scorer Natalie Dodd and pace-bowler Haley Jensen also return to the international scene in the T20 squad.
 
“We’ve picked on form and all three players have stuck their hands up and put in some big performances at times under pressure - which is something we’ve placed real value on.
 
“It’s great to have Hayley back in the mix after her successful season with the Melbourne Renegades in the Australian Women’s Big Bash League. She’s a quality player and we’re delighted that she’s committed herself to returning to New Zealand to play her cricket.”
 
Suzie Bates will captain both sides, which feature the familiar faces of vice-captain Amy Satterthwaite, hard-hitting all-rounder Sophie Devine and 17-year-old leg-spinner Amelia Kerr.
 
WHITE FERNS ODI team
Suzie Bates (c) (Otago Sparks)
Sophie Devine (Wellington Blaze)
Lauren Down (Auckland Hearts)
Kate Ebrahim (Canterbury Magicians)
Maddy Green (Auckland Hearts)
Holly Huddleston (Auckland Hearts)
Leigh Kasperek (Otago Sparks)
Amelia Kerr (Wellington Blaze)
Katey Martin (Otago Sparks)
Anna Peterson (Auckland Hearts)
Hannah Rowe (Central Hinds)
Amy Satterthwaite (VC) (Canterbury Magicians)
Lea Tahuhu (Canterbury Magicians)
 
WHITE FERNS T20I team
Suzie Bates (c) (Otago Sparks)
Sophie Devine (Wellington Blaze)
Natalie Dodd (Northern Spirit)
Maddy Green (Auckland Hearts)
Kate Heffernan (Otago Sparks)
Hayley Jensen (Melbourne Renegades)
Leigh Kasperek (Otago Sparks)
Amelia Kerr (Wellington Blaze)
Katey Martin (Otago Sparks)
Anna Peterson (Auckland Hearts)
Hannah Rowe (Central Hinds)
Amy Satterthwaite (VC) (Canterbury Magicians)
Lea Tahuhu (Canterbury Magicians)
 
Experienced Auckland Hearts batswoman Katie Perkins has missed selection after having limited opportunities following a broken thumb in December.
 
Canterbury Magicians leg-spinner Erin Bermingham was unavailable for selection after taking an indefinite break from international cricket.
 
Tiffen paid tribute to Bermingham’s 65-game career for the WHITE FERNS.
 
“Erin’s been a terrific servant to the team for a long time and made important contributions on and off the field. She’s a great team-player and we will miss having her around the group.”
 
The WHITE FERNS take on the West Indies in three ODIs in Christchurch from March 4, before switching to T20 mode against the World Champions for a five-game series in the North Island.
 
Series schedule
 
The third ODI and second T20I will be broadcast live on SKY Sport, with the remaining games live-streamed at nzc.nz.

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