Anderson, Armstrong called up for NZ women’s South Africa tour; Jess Kerr back from injury

Batter Kate Anderson and all-rounder Bella Armstrong have earned their maiden call-ups to the New Zealand women’s upcoming tour of South Africa in September, just two years after receiving NZC Development contracts.

Batter Kate Anderson and all-rounder Bella Armstrong have earned their maiden call-ups to the New Zealand women’s upcoming tour of South Africa in September, just two years after receiving NZC Development contracts.

The selectors have pitched up two separate 15-player squads for a tour that comprises three ODIs and five T20Is, starting from September 24.

Anderson’s selection follows her most successful professional season, which saw her named NZC’s Women’s Domestic Player of The Year and put her in line to tour Sri Lanka with the White Ferns in July before she was ruled out with a finger injury.

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The 27-year-old smashed a chart-topping 536 runs at an average of 59 in the Super Smash, her run aggregate more than 100 clear of the next best female or male.

The 23-year-old Armstrong has been included in the T20I series only and will replace wicket-keeper Izzy Gaze, who will return home after the ODIs.

New Zealand women’s coach Ben Sawyer said it was pleasing to be able to reward players for their performances on the domestic scene.

“I’d firstly like to congratulate both players on what is a really significant moment in their careers,” he said.

“Kate had an outstanding domestic season last year and was unfortunate to miss the Sri Lanka tour through injury. We like her power and skills with the bat and we’re looking forward to giving her an opportunity on the international stage.”

Sawyer said Armstrong’s selection was partly a nod to the future, with another ICC Women’s T20 World Cup just a year away.

“Bella’s an exciting young prospect who hits the ball hard and is an outstanding fielder, so she’s got all the attributes that we want from a WHITE FERN,” he said.

“We’ve got five T20 matches on this tour which is more than we usually get, so it’s a good opportunity for us to look at players who could potentially be part of our future World Cup campaigns.”

Sawyer said it was also great to welcome back pace-bowler Jess Kerr.

“It’s a real bonus to have Jess back in the squad after injury ruled her out of the Sri Lanka tour,” he said.

“She’s got a world-class bowling skill set and is especially effective with her in-swinger, which is proving more and more difficult in the women’s game.

The remainder of the squad is made up of familiar faces who have all experienced South African playing conditions this year courtesy of the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup and the ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup.

The squad for the tour to South Africa:

Sophie Devine (c), Kate Anderson, Bella Armstrong (T20I only), Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Eden Carson, Izzy Gaze (ODI only), Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Amelia Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu.

The schedule:

Sept 24: 1st ODI, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom

Sept 28: 2nd ODI, Pietermaritzburg Oval, Pietermaritzburg

Oct 1: 3rd ODI, Kingsmead, Durban

Oct 6: 1st T20I, Buffalo Park, East London

Oct 8: 2nd T20I, Buffalo Park, East London

Oct 10: 3rd T20I, Buffalo Park, East London

Oct 14: 4th T20I, Willowmoore Park, Benoni

Oct 15: 5th T20I, Willowmoore Park, Benoni

(IANS)

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