Head coach Christie van Dyk has named a 15-strong squad to defend their T20 women’s competition title in the newly revamped Women’s Burger King Super Smash and the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield one-day competition.
Former Blaze players Thamsyn Newton and Rebecca Burns are two newcomers to a strong squad ahead of the first round of Burger King Super Smash which will be played at the NZC High Performance Centre at Lincoln from 25-28 October.
Both players return to the Blaze after stints away from Wellington with Canterbury and Central Districts respectively. Newton who enjoyed a season in the Women’s Big Bash last season will bring all-round experience to a team looking to build on last year’s success.
The squad also boasts two WHITE FERNS including one-day batting world record holder Amelia Kerr and ODI and T20 New Zealand Women’s Player of the Year Sophie Devine.
Kerr and Devine will be unavailable for some parts of the competition due to WHITE FERNS duty so coach van Dyk will be looking to the likes of experienced New Zealand A players Jessica Kerr and Jessica McFadyen, as well as influential captain Liz Perry to contribute in the WHITE FERNS absence.
Van Dyk has also selected Xara Jetly and Bhagya Herath as part of an extended training squad as general training cover for the WHITE FERNS absence.
The squad also includes three former WHITE FERNS including Rachel Priest, Lucy Doolan and Thamsyn Newton who will be looking to break back into the national setup under the guidance of van Dyk.
Head coach Christie van Dyk emphasised the team’s culture as key to further success this year.
“We’ve got a great bunch of girls in the squad and there’s a real sense of togetherness so I’m looking forward to seeing how that shows out in the middle.”
Van Dyk was also quick to point out the leadership qualities of captain Liz Perry which he said would be crucial to a successful season.
“Liz is an outstanding captain and leader. Our relationship is really strong and that’s important because how we get the best out of people will be the key to succeeding this season. She’s not afraid to tell me if I’m doing things wrong and that’s a really important quality to have as a captain and a leader.”
The Blaze will get their Women’s Burger King Super Smash campaign underway against Canterbury Magicians on Thursday at 2.30pm.
The Wellington Blaze squad members for 2018-2019 are:
Liz Perry (Captain)
Click here to see the Burger King Super Smash 2018-19 schedule and the Hallyburton Johnston Shield 2018-19 schedule.