A young Auckland HEARTS side begin their Hallyburton Johnstone Shield defence with two matches against the Central Hinds at Pukekura Park this weekend.
Regina Lilii will lead the HEARTS in New Plymouth with skipper Anna Peterson unavailable due to concussion. Joining Peterson on the unavailability list are Arlene Kelly, Natasha van Tilburg and Izzy Gaze, who are all recovering from injuries.
Lilii is pleased with the way the HEARTS have come together after COVID-19 forced Auckland into a second lockdown in September.
“Preparation has been good considering the hiccups we had when we were first getting back together.
“We have been lucky to get a few warm-up matches under our belt and we will be looking to play with freedom when we finally get out there this weekend.”
The squad of 13 features two new faces, with batter Yaz Kareem and allrounder Molly Penfold set to debut for the HEARTS, while Skye Bowden (injury) and Sarah Carnachan (overseas) return to the fold.
Lilii can’t wait to see what the HEARTS young players bring to the group this season.
“We have an exciting bunch of young players and we’ll be encouraging them all to enjoy the experience.”
“It’s great to see Skye back in the mix. We are looking forward to seeing her back doing what she does best for the HEARTS.”
Though WHITE FERNS Lauren Down, Holly Huddleston and Katie Perkins have returned home from WBBL duties, the trio remain unavailable as they go through the managed isolation process.
Auckland HEARTS vs. Central Hinds
Saturday 21st / Sunday 22nd November
Pukekura Park, New Plymouth
Auckland HEARTS | Hallyburton Johnstone Shield vs. Central Hinds
Regina Lilii (c)