Blaze stars Amelia Kerr and Sophie Devine are relishing the opportunity to showcase their talents on one of the world’s biggest stages next month.
The duo were selected to play in the Women’s T20 Cricket Challenge, which will be staged in India alongside the men’s IPL finals in May, alongside fellow WHITE FERNS Suzie Bates and Lea Tahuhu.
Bates, Devine and Tahuhu were all involved in a similar one-off exhibition match last year and the introduction of a third team in this year’s competition represents potential growth towards a fully-fledged women’s IPL competition, a prospect that excites competition newcomer Kerr.
“I think this could be the start of something very exciting for women’s cricket,” she said.
“Hopefully from this there will be a women’s IPL in the future with many teams and the best players from around the world competing in it.”
The competition will be the first taste of Indian conditions for the 18-year-old, who is relishing the opportunity after being selected in the Velocity team.
“I’m looking forward to playing alongside some of the world’s best players and getting over to India and testing myself in their conditions,” she said.
Devine, who lit up last summer’s Women’s Big Bash League competition, said she was looking forward to flying the New Zealand flag in India.
“It’s humbling to be given the opportunity to go over and play in India, and special to be able to represent Wellington and New Zealand.
“It’s great for the women’s game globally that the BCCI are looking at running an event similar to the IPL and it will hopefully further showcase the women’s game.”
Suzie Bates was the star of last year’s match with a player-of-the-match performance that helped the Supernovas to a three-wicket victory over the Trailblazers.
The 2019 edition gets underway on May 6th and ends with a final on May 11th.
Women’s T20 Cricket Challenge Squads:
SUPERNOVAS: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Anuja Patil, Arundhati Reddy, Chamari Athapaththu, Jemimah Rodrigues, Lea Tahuhu, Mansi Joshi, Natalie Sciver, Poonam Yadav, Priya Punia, Radha P Yadav, Sophie Devine, Taniya Bhatia, W V Raman (Coach)
TRAILBLAZERS: Smriti Mandhana (c), Bharti Fulmali, Dayalan Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Harleen Deol, Jasia Akhtar, Jhulan Goswami, R Kalpana, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shakera Selman, Sophie Ecclestone, Stefanie Taylor, Suzie Bates, Biju George (Coach)
VELOCITY: Mithali Raj (c), Amelia Kerr, Danielle Wyatt, Devika Vaidya, Ekta Bisht, Hayley Matthews, Jahanara Alam, Komal Zhanzad, Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Sushma Verma, Sushree Dibyadarshini, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mamta Maben (Coach)
6th May – Supernovas vs Trailblazers
8th May – Trailblazers vs Velocity
9th May – Supernovas vs Velocity
11th May – Final (1st vs 2nd place)
*All matches will be played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur.