The Wellington Blaze have added another world-class talent to their team, with WHITE FERNS allrounder Leigh Kasperek making the move to the capital for the upcoming 2019/20 season.
The 27-year-old re-joins the Blaze after six years away with the Otago Sparks where she developed a reputation as a dangerous off-spinner, earning her WHITE FERNS debut in 2015.
Currently ranked the fourth best T20 bowler in the world, Kasperek has represented New Zealand 64 times and has played at three world cups, including last year’s ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies.
“I really enjoyed my time with the Sparks and will look back fondly at many great years of cricket,” said Kasperek.
“However, I’m excited for the new challenge that awaits in Wellington and look forward to linking up with the team for the coming season.”
Born in Edinburgh, Kasperek made her international debut for Scotland at the age of 15 before moving to New Zealand in 2012.
An off-spinner by trade, Kasperek is known for her clever use of flight, drift and dip and is a proficient right-hand batter with the ability to play all around the ground.
Blaze captain Liz Perry said Kasperek would be a valuable addition to the Blaze team as they look to build on last summer’s success.
“We want to be the leading domestic team in New Zealand and have fun along the way and Leigh will be a great addition both on and off the field,” she said.
“Leigh is an exceptionally talented cricketer who has really started to dominate domestic cricket with bat and ball.
“She will be a key driving force for success within the team as she is always hungry to be better and this will encourage those around her to follow in her footsteps.”
Blaze head coach Ivan Tissera said he was looking forward to helping Kasperek improve her game.
“Leigh is an extremely talented player and will bring with her the skills and experience from her domestic and international playing career,” he said.
“We’re really excited about helping Leigh develop her game and seeing her progress to the next level with the resources we have available at Cricket Wellington.”
The Wellington Blaze successfully defended their national T20 title by winning the inaugural women’s Burger King Super Smash last summer and will be out to complete a T20 ‘three-peat’ this summer, as well as claim their first Hallyburton Johnstone Shield since 2003.
Kasperek is currently overseas playing in the UK and will make the move to Wellington in September.