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Down elevated to WHITE FERNS squad

Auckland Hearts batswoman Lauren Down is in line to debut for the WHITE FERNS against the West Indies at home next month.

22-year-old Down made the ODI side off the back of another strong season with the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield winning Hearts.

“It was a bit of a surprise to be honest,” said Down.

“I’m just really excited to be part of the whole setup, I can’t wait! It should be a great experience and one I can learn a lot from along the way.”

WHITE FERNS coach Haidee Tiffen said it was the raw talent and athleticism of Down and fellow potential debutant Kate Heffernan, alongside their consistent performances, that caught her and selector Kirsty Bond’s attention.

“Both Kate and Lauren are impressive athletes in their own right and will definitely bring that dynamic edge that we’re looking for,” said Tiffen.

“Lauren’s been on our radar for a while in both formats and we also think she’s one for the future. She’s explosive with the bat and is a terrific fielder across the park.”

Canterbury Magicians all-rounder and Kate Ebrahim (nee Broadmore) returns to the ODI squad, while Northern Spirit’s T20 leading run-scorer Natalie Dodd and pace-bowler Haley Jensen also return to the international scene in the T20 squad.

“We’ve picked on form and all three players have stuck their hands up and put in some big performances at times under pressure – which is something we’ve placed real value on.

“It’s great to have Hayley back in the mix after her successful season with the Melbourne Renegades in the Australian Women’s Big Bash League. She’s a quality player and we’re delighted that she’s committed herself to returning to New Zealand to play her cricket.”

Suzie Bates will captain both sides, which feature the familiar faces of vice-captain Amy Satterthwaite, hard-hitting all-rounder Sophie Devine and 17-year-old leg-spinner Amelia Kerr.

 

WHITE FERNS ODI team

Suzie Bates (c) (Otago Sparks)

Sophie Devine (Wellington Blaze)

Lauren Down (Auckland Hearts)

Kate Ebrahim (Canterbury Magicians)

Maddy Green (Auckland Hearts)

Holly Huddleston (Auckland Hearts)

Leigh Kasperek (Otago Sparks)

Amelia Kerr (Wellington Blaze)

Katey Martin (Otago Sparks)

Anna Peterson (Auckland Hearts)

Hannah Rowe (Central Hinds)

Amy Satterthwaite (VC) (Canterbury Magicians)

Lea Tahuhu (Canterbury Magicians)

 

WHITE FERNS T20I team

Suzie Bates (c) (Otago Sparks)

Sophie Devine (Wellington Blaze)

Natalie Dodd (North Spirit)

Maddy Green (Auckland Hearts)

Kate Heffernan (Otago Sparks)

Hayley Jensen (Melbourne Renegades)

Leigh Kasperek (Otago Sparks)

Amelia Kerr (Wellington Blaze)

Katey Martin (Otago Sparks)

Anna Peterson (Auckland Hearts)

Hannah Rowe (Central Hinds)

Amy Satterthwaite (VC) (Canterbury Magicians)

Lea Tahuhu (Canterbury Magicians)

 

Experienced Auckland Hearts batswoman Katie Perkins has missed selection after having limited opportunities following a broken thumb in December.

Canterbury Magicians leg-spinner Erin Bermingham was unavailable for selection after taking an indefinite break from international cricket.

Tiffen paid tribute to Bermingham’s 65-game career for the WHITE FERNS.

“Erin’s been a terrific servant to the team for a long time and made important contributions on and off the field. She’s a great team-player and we will miss having her around the group.”

The WHITE FERNS take on the West Indies in three ODIs in Christchurch from March 4, before switching to T20 mode against the World Champions for a five-game series in the North Island.

The third ODI and second T20I will be broadcast live on SKY Sport, with the remaining games live-streamed at nzc.nz.

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