Gaze and Mair return for New Zealand women’s first bilateral series in Sri Lanka

Isabella Gaze and Rosemary Mair return to the New Zealand women’s team as they embark on their first bilateral series in Sri Lanka. The tour begins on June 27 with the first of three ODIs in Galle, and then moves to Colombo for three T20Is.
Gaze, the 19-year-old wicketkeeper, and Mair, the 24-year-old fast bowler, were not part of New Zealand’s most recent assignment, the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa four months ago. They won two out of four matches in that tournament but missed out on a place in the semi-final due to net run rate.
The selectors have kept faith with the same squad and have high hopes for a young spin group comprising Amelia Kerr, who is coming off 15 wickets in the inaugural WPL where she helped Mumbai Indians win the title, and also Fran Jonas and Eden Carson, even though all of them will be playing in Sri Lanka for the very first time. In fact, only the captain Sophie Devine and senior batter Suzie Bates have ever played any cricket there.
“This is the first time almost all of the squad will have experienced playing in Sri Lanka, so it’s a good opportunity for our players to develop their game in testing sub-continent conditions,” head coach Ben Sawyer said in an NZC press release. “Sri Lanka will pose challenges with the unfamiliar conditions out in the middle, but also with the heat and humidity, so we will need to be able to adapt quickly both on and off the field.
“The group has been really fortunate to have experienced some unique conditions with the recent trips to Antigua [where they beat West Indies 2-1 in ODIs and 4-1 in T20Is] and South Africa. We adapted to similar heat and conditions in the West Indies, so that experience should bode well in Sri Lanka. We also have a handful of players who have played in similar subcontinent conditions in India, so that experience will be valuable for us to adapt.”
Lauren Down (family reasons) and Hayley Jensen (recovery from knee surgery), who were with New Zealand at the T20 World Cup, are unavailable. Kate Anderson, who has been involved in winter training plans, is sidelined with a finger injury.
New Zealand haven’t played an ODI since December last year when they beat Bangladesh at home 1-0 after two of the three matches were washed out.

NZ ODI and T20I squad to SL

Sophie Devine (capt), Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Eden Carson, Izzy Gaze (wk), Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Melie Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu

Tour schedule

June 27 – 1st ODI, Galle International Stadium
June 30 – 2nd ODI, Galle International Stadium
July 3 – 3rd ODI, Galle International Stadium
July 6 – Warm-up T20 v Sri Lanka President’s XI, Colombo
July 8 – 1st T20I, Colombo
July 10- 2nd T20I, Colombo
July 12 – 3rd T20I, Colombo

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