Sixteen-year-old legspinner Amelia Kerr is set to become the youngest New Zealand women’s player at a World Cup, after being picked in the 15-member squad for the tournament which starts in England from June 24.
Sophie Devine, who missed the ODI and T20I series against Australia women due to a thumb injury, returned to the squad, while seamer Hannah Rowe earned a recall, having last played for New Zealand in November 2016. Offspinner Leigh Kasperek, who underwent surgery in February after suffering multiple fractures to her finger, has also returned to the squad. Allrounder Anna Peterson and seamer Holly Huddleston have also been selected for their first 50-over World Cup.
Twelve of the 15 members in the World Cup squad had played the World T20 in India last year.
Kerr has impressed since her international debut in the home series against Pakistan last year. In seven ODIs, she has taken 10 wickets, including two four-fors, at an average of 22.9 and an economy rate of 3.89
“We’ve had a lot of players put their hands up domestically, internationally and during our two recent camps – so the last few spots were particularly fiercely contested,” New Zealand coach Haidee Tiffin said. “I’m really happy with the balance of the squad. I think it’s a strong team who are certainly capable of bringing that cup home.
“It’s really exciting to have Amelia in the squad and she’s proved herself more than ready for the big stage. With the likes of Suzie Bates, Amy Satterthwaite, Katey Martin and Sophie Devine – we’re not short on leaders in the group.
“There’s been a real focus on our team-first mentality and everyone’s bought into that – which means we’ll turn up in England as a tight, motivated unit.”
New Zealand will have a pre-tournament camp in Hampshire from June 11 and will play their opening match against Sri Lanka in Bristol on June 24. New Zealand have won the tournament once – in 2000 – and have been runners-up three times, in 1993, 1997 and 2009.
New Zealand squad for Women’s World Cup
Suzie Bates (capt), Erin Bermingham, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite (vice-capt), Lea Tahuhu. (ESPNCricinfo)