Otago coach Warren Lees wants women's cricket to be
re-established in Dunedin to give the Otago Sparks experience
before the national competition.
''We don't play enough cricket. That is one of our
problems,'' Lees said. There is no women's cricket in
Dunedin. That's a crime. It's absolutely dreadful.''
When Lees, the former coach of the Black Caps, took over the
women's coaching role this season he found that many of the
players lacked playing experience.
If there were not enough players for a women's competition
Lees would like to see the Otago squad play in a weekly
Dunedin men's competition.
Lees has enjoyed his time with the team and would like to be
back next year. But he has found the travel from his home in
Clyde to Dunedin for the weekly indoor net practice in late
winter difficult. Winter practice in the cold nets is not
appealing to girls these days,'' he said.
Lees would like the team brought to Alexandra for a weekend
We have made improvements and it is worth developing the
women's team,'' he said.
It was an improved performance by the Otago women's team that
finished third in the twenty/20 and fourth in the one-day
Wellington moved into third spot in the one-day competition
when it beat Auckland by 48 runs in a major upset in Auckland
yesterday. Auckland topped the table with 34 points and was
followed by Canterbury 25, Wellington 22, Otago 20, North
Districts 19, Central Districts 9.
It was the best season Otago women's cricket has had for a
long time,'' Lees said.
Captain Suzie Bates dominated the batting and ended with the
top aggregate of runs in the country in front of Northern
Districts opener Natalie Dodd. Nicole Bolton, of Western
Australia, played in the last two games. It was a reciprocal
arrangement with Western Australia and Bates leaves for Perth
today to play in the Australian competition.
We had a lot more experience and introduced a number of new
players that will help our depth for the future,'' Lees said.
There were 17 players in the squad.
We are now picking the team on form. It was unheard of in the
past,'' Lees said.
Otago finished its season on a disappointing note yesterday
when it lost to Northern Districts by eight wickets at
Otago batted first and was dismissed for 145 after 41.3
overs. Captain Bates top scored with a sedate 39 in 97
Vicky Abbott batted solidly for 36 not out in 69 minutes on
the difficult pitch.
An opening partnership of 107 by Dodd (63 not out) and Kerry
Tomlinson (47) paved the way for the comfortable Northern
Districts win. It was their second century partnership of the
season. They scored 162 against Central Districts.
The partnership was broken when Bates took a spectacular
catch close in at mid-off.