Jess Kerr, Molly Penfold return as New Zealand announce squad for West Indies tour
Updated: Sep 01, 2022 17:34 IST
Wellington [New Zealand], September 1 (ANI): New Zealand’s fast bowling duo of Jess Kerr, Molly Penfold and top-order batter Lauren Down returned as New Zealand Cricket on Thursday announced a squad for the West Indies for three ICC Women’s Championship ODIs and five T20Is.
The trio are the only changes to the 15-player squad which claimed bronze at the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, with Claudia Green, Rosemary Mair and wicket-keeper Jess McFadyen making way.
Kerr, who’s become a mainstay with the new ball for the WHITE FERNS in recent years, was a late withdrawal ahead of the Birmingham Games due to a foot injury, while Down opted out ahead of the tournament to prioritise her well-being.
Coach Ben Sawyer congratulated all three players on their inclusion for the tour, which comprises a three-game ODI series and a five-game T20I series in Antigua, starting September 16.
“It’s an exciting time for the whole squad and particularly the three players making their returns. We’ve seen the success Jess has enjoyed on the international stage in her career to date and it’s been encouraging to see her working her way back from injury, and training with the London Spirt over here in the Hundred in recent weeks,” Sawyer said.
“It’s great to see Lauren return after taking some personal time away from the game. She was flying with the bat heading into the ODI World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year only to be ruled out of the tournament with that thumb injury – so we’re looking forward to welcoming her back into the environment.”
“I first saw Molly bowling when I was working with Australia at the ODI World Cup and remember telling them how good I thought she was, just from watching her practice. You could see she had all the natural attributes for fast bowling and I’ve been sent a few videos of her recent progress – she seems to be going really well,” he added.
Canterbury Magicians all-rounder Lea Tahuhu has retained her place in the squad after impressing as a replacement for Kerr at the Commonwealth Games.
The squad sees the retention of the four youngsters who impressed in Birmingham: wicket-keeper Izzy Gaze, Wellington Blaze batter Georgia Plimmer, Auckland Hearts left-arm spinner Fran Jonas, and Otago Spark off-spinner Eden Carson.
Sophie Devine will captain the side which also features the familiar faces of Suzie Bates, Maddy Green and Melie Kerr.
New Zealand’s women last toured West Indies in 2014, when they lost the ODI series 4-0, but managed to edge the T20Is 2-1 following a thrilling Super Over victory in the deciding match.
New Zealand Squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Lauren Down, Izzy Gaze, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe and Lea Tahuhu. (ANI)
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