Cricket

The World Cup can leave a legacy for young cricketers

2022 Women

The eight Women’s Cricket World Cup captains share a collective vision to advance the women’s game in their home countries.

Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 captains Meg Lanning Australia, Bismah Maroof Pakistan, Stafanie Taylor Antilles, Heather Knight England, Sophie Devine New Zealand, Mithali Raj India, Sune Luus South Africa and Nigar Sultana Bangladesh.
Photo: ICC

For some, the tournament in New Zealand will be a turning point and for others an opportunity to build on the foundations already laid.

But all want to use the flagship event to inspire the next generation to follow in their footsteps.

International stars recognize that it starts at the grassroots and in national competitions.

The youngest member of the White Ferns World Cup squad, teenage left-arm spinner Fran Jonas, came through the Auckland system.

She made her debut for New Zealand aged 16 but had to miss last year’s tour of England as she stayed at school.

Jonas wasn’t born when many of the current White Ferns, including vice-captain Amy Satterthwaite, debuted, but she is the face of the future.

Auckland Hearts left arm spinner Fran Jonas bowls in the Dream11 Super Smash match against Central Hinds, Eden Park Outer Oval Auckland, Saturday 4th January 2020.

Fran Jonas, Auckland Hearts player.
Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

Outgoing Auckland Hearts coach Jonas Nick White has said the association’s development program which lasted just under eight years, initially called DFH (developing future Hearts) more recently a development program The organized academy helped bring in players like Jonas and Molly Penfold who was a late addition to the New Zealand squad.

“The more opportunities there are for our young cricketers to play and learn by playing the better, which is why throughout our program we try to create as much playing time as possible. “, said White.

White says he’s starting to see more people take notice.

“The domestic game, Super Smash in particular, has had so much more exposure over the past few years with most games now being shown on TV, it has given budding young girls a great opportunity to see their role models first hand, which I think was great for the game.

“Not only that, but the crowds that now flock to support the girls hang out after for a chat or an autograph.”

The domestic season ended earlier this year to allow players to watch the World Cup, which White says is a great way to stoke the passions of the next line of White Ferns.

White Ferns captain Sophie Devine has paid tribute to her local Wellington Association for developing talent.

“The structures they have put in place, the coaches they have provided, I think Cam Mitchell, the head of Cricket Wellington, has done a fantastic job of providing opportunities.

“They always push us to be better and they want to be the best in the world in New Zealand, which I think is really exciting.”

Devine’s home suburb of Tawa also produced four white ferns for this World Cup, with sisters Amelia and Jess Kerr and teenage newcomer Georgia Plimmer also in the squad.

Amelia and Jess Kerr have had great success with the Wellington Blaze.

Sisters Amelia and Jess Kerr had great success with the Wellington Blaze and the White Ferns.
Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga 2022 / www.photosport.nz / Photosport Ltd

“For Tawa and I think it’s similar in different pockets of New Zealand, you just find people who are really passionate about women’s cricket and they give a lot.

“It’s often dedicated family members or volunteers who put in a lot of time, energy and effort and really bring in the numbers and that’s what happened in Tawa and I know that also happens across the country.”

Devine says the White Ferns are not shy about leaving a legacy for aspiring New Zealand cricketers with their performances this month.

“We know that if we play a really exciting brand of cricket that we can get the whole country behind it’s going to leave a legacy and I think that’s something the Black Caps did particularly well in 2015, they really had the whole country behind them and we hope we can do something similar by stoking that passion.”

Devine and some of her teammates were inspired by the New Zealand team that won the Women’s Cricket World Cup on home soil in 2000 and she hopes to do the same for the young girls.

The captain of world number one team Australia, Meg Lanning, says it’s exciting that the team’s young players will only experience life as full-time professional cricketers.

“We know the benefits of being full time and having access to great resources, great coaches and the ability to play a lot more cricket as well and hopefully that will continue to evolve as well. over the next few years.”

Sophie Devine playing for the Perth Scorchers.

White Ferns captain Sophie Devine plays for the Perth Scorchers in the WBBL.
Photo: photo port

Lanning credits Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League with providing a platform for young players to be exposed to different scenarios and pressure situations.

“We’ve seen our young kids come in, Darcie Brown, Tahlia McGrath and others, they don’t seem intimidated by the situation, and I think the WBBL has been a really big part of that.

“It’s a strong national competition, and alongside the Women’s National Cricket League it provides a great opportunity for players to get playing time and learn the game, there’s no doubt it certainly helps our national team to be able to perform like we do.”

White ferns also benefited from the WBBL.

Sophie Devine led the Perth Scorchers to the 2021 title and was named Team of the Tournament captain. She finished the tournament as the third top scorer.

Suzie Bates had played in every WBBL season but pulled out of the Adelaide Strikers squad last year over fears of returning to New Zealand under the MIQ system.

Amy Satterthwaite had been one of the best players in the WBBL and had previously been named Player of the Tournament.

Amelia Kerr also played a season in the competition but withdrew from the last edition to focus on her mental health.

Prior to Covid, the Auckland Hearts had also benefited from pre-season overseas tours, two to Brisbane to face Queensland Fire and one to Hobart to face the Hurricanes, matches which saw Auckland representatives take on some representatives of the Australian national team.

India captain Mithali Raj also stressed the importance of domestic competitions despite the experience of most of her squad.

“Most of them, even the young players who entered the team in the last two series, had the opportunity to play in leagues, which gives them exposure other than the bilateral series.

“When you go to a big event like this you depend on experience, it’s not just about young players, and having the two together is a good mix.”

Katey Martin smashes Hayley Matthews of West Indies

White Fern Katey Martin crushes West Indies’ Hayley Matthews
Photo: Photosport NZ

West Indies were one of the first women’s teams to return to cricket during the pandemic and captain Stafanie Taylor said a change in coaching staff, with former West Indies men’s captain Courtney Walsh taking over as as head coach in 2020, had a huge impact.

“I think some of the things we learned we didn’t know and we probably had to learn those things in children’s cricket,” Taylor said.

“It makes you wonder what kind of players we could be if we had learned some of these things earlier.

“What kind of player would I be if I knew at the age of seven or eight what I know now?”

Pakistani captain Bismah Maroof looks to her country’s next generation of players and hopes her team can lead the way.

“I think we have a great future, the mindset has changed in Pakistan and girls want to play cricket and they want to play as professionals and I hope we can inspire a lot of girls in Pakistan after this World Cup by putting up a good performance.”

The Women’s Cricket World Cup begins Friday at Mount Maunganui.