Wellington Blaze head coach Ivan Tissera has named his 14-strong winter training squad in preparation for the upcoming summer of cricket.
The squad boasts several familiar faces including current WHITE FERNS allrounder Amelia Kerr and former WHITE FERNS Thamsyn Newton and Liz Green-Perry.
Leigh Kasperek who re-joined the Blaze in May is absent from the squad as she takes part in the Kia Super League with the Yorkshire Diamonds, alongside Rachel Priest who will represent the Western Storm.
Blaze stalwart Suzie McDonald is unavailable for the season due to work commitments, and Sophie Devine is taking an extended break before the season commences after her bumper 2018-19 summer which included Blaze, WHITE FERNS, WBBL and women’s IPL commitments.
The squad also includes two new bowlers – 15-year-old Natasha Codyre who was selected as twelfth man for the Blaze’s Hallyburton Johnstone Shield match against Canterbury last season, and Maneka Singh who returns to representative cricket with Wellington having made her debut for Central Districts in 2009 at the age of 14.
Tissera said he was happy with the squad depth being built while key players are away.
“I’m really pleased with the mix of players that we have selected in the wider squad and the level of enthusiasm that they have all shown throughout the first phase of the program,” he said.
“They have displayed a strong work ethic and we’re now looking forward to the whole winter squad being together for team training sessions beginning in mid-August.”
The Blaze successfully defended their women’s T20 title in the inaugural women’s Super Smash last summer and will be out to claim a historic T20 ‘three-peat’ as well as claim the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield for the first time since 2004.
The squad will begin their winter training programme on August 15.
Wellington Blaze winter training squad: