WHITE FERNS spinner Leigh Kasperek. PHOTOSPORT

The curious case of Leigh Kasperek

It’s fair to say Leigh Kasperek continues to surprise herself.

The 26-year-old off-spinner has risen to number two in the latest ICC T20 bowling rankings after claiming the most wickets in the recent series win over the West Indies.

The WHITE FERNS woman of few words isn't really sure how to explain the success.

“Even now I don’t really understand how it happens,” Kasperek said.

“Everyone knows that I don’t really turn the ball and they rip into it as well. I look at people like Amelia and everyone else who bowls spin and I just think they’re so good and I wish I could do half the things that they could do.”

Despite not being a notable turner of the ball Kasperek uses her flight, drift and guile to outfox opposition batters - and it's working.

Her record of 37 wickets from 20 T20 internationals has her on course to be the quickest WHITE FERN ever to 50 T20l wickets.

The 26-year-old is enjoying the ride, looking forward to where it’ll take her next.

Kasperek’s journey to the WHITE FERNS hasn’t been a traditional route.

A talented tennis player who was born and raised in Edinburgh, she played international cricket for Scotland as a teenager, before taking a punt on expanding her career by signing to play for the Western Fury in Perth for the 2011/12 season.

It was there she met WHITE FERNS captain Suzie Bates who encouraged her to cross the ditch. Several years later and Kasperek has a central contract with New Zealand Cricket and continues to thrive on the international stage.

“I didn’t really come over here for all of this,” Kasperek said.

“I just came over to experience a bit more of life away from Scotland and it’s just got better and better. When you look at how I got here, it was just really by chance and who I knew that helped me out along the way.

“I couldn’t have done it without all the support of the people that I stayed with.”

While Kasperek turns heads on the pitch, turning decks is her real passion.

The spinner has become the WHITE FERNS resident DJ since establishing herself as a regular member of the team, although it hasn’t been all smooth sailing.

“I started off pretty shaky, I only got the job because I was the only one in the team that didn’t use Spotify for their iPod,” Kasperek jokes.

“I’ve been the DJ for over two years now and I feel like I’ve grown into the role and gained a lot of respect recently for my good tunes. 

“There was one point though that I downloaded the top 40 UK charts and that did not go down well at all. I’ve learned to keep it pretty mainstream, please the crowd.”

Where she’ll turn next remains to be seen.

A tour of England and the World T20 in the West Indies is on the horizon but beyond that Kasperek’s taking each day as it comes.

“Being a professional cricketer is the dream job, but then I’d say for a lot of us cricket doesn’t really define us,” Kasperek said.

“I haven’t found what I want to do outside of cricket yet, other than DJing of course.”

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