Bates gets University Oval named after her for Pakistan T20 game on Tuesday

The University Oval. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
The University Oval will be renamed the Suzie Bates Oval for the White Ferns' first T20 game against Pakistan on Tuesday. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Some people get a street named after them.

Suzie Bates gets a whole sports venue named after her.

And fair enough, too.

The White Ferns and Otago great has been named in the White Ferns squad for the T20 and ODI series against Pakistan.

No surprises there. She is arguably our greatest female player.

But there is a naming surprise of sorts.

The University Oval will temporarily adopt a new moniker.

The White Ferns are hosting two of their three T20s against Pakistan at the venue and on Tuesday the University Oval will be renamed the Suzie Bates Oval for the game.

It follows a similar move in 2015, when Logan Park Drive was renamed Brendon McCullum Drive during the World Cup.

The decision was made to honour the ‘‘Dunedin trailblazer’’ who became the first White Fern, and third women in the world, to play 300 internationals.

She brought up the milestone on the recent tour of South Africa.

Bates, who was not available for comment yesterday, has not played a lot of international cricket in Dunedin during her lengthy career.

It seems extraordinary but, in her first 16 years of international cricket, she had never had the opportunity to play in front of her family and friends at home in Dunedin until last year when the White Ferns beat Bangladesh in a World Cup game.

So Tuesday shapes as a great day for her. Many of her family, friends, teammates, and coaches will be at the game to mark the occasion.

The 36-year-old was included in a familiar looking White Ferns side.

Sophie Devine leads the side fresh from a successful Big Bash League campaign in which she was the second-highest run-scorer for the Perth Scorchers, amassing 489 runs.

Melie Kerr will miss the opening T20I against Pakistan on Sunday as she participates in Saturday’s BBL final for the Brisbane Heat.

Canterbury Magicians’ batter Kate Anderson has retained her place in the squad following her international T20 debut against South Africa last month.

Wicketkeeper-batter Bernadine Bezuidenhout returns to the squad after falling ill on the recent tour of South Africa.

Nineteen year-olds Georgia Plimmer and Izzy Gaze have received an early look at the opposition at Bert Sutcliffe Oval this week as part of the New Zealand XI side featuring in the warm-ups.

Gaze, who was originally named in the ODI squad only, will also feature in the T20I squad for the opening game as cover for Kerr.

Brooke Halliday was not considered for selection due to a foot injury, and Hayley Jensen continues her recovery following knee surgery earlier in the year.

White Ferns v Pakistan

Itinerary

December 3, 1st T20I, Dunedin

December 5, 2nd T20I, Dunedin

December 9, 3rd T20I, Queenstown

December 12, 1st ODI, Sir John Davies Oval, Queenstown

December 15, 2nd ODI, Christchurch

December 18, 3rd ODI, Christchurch

White Ferns squad: 

Sophie Devine (captain), Kate Anderson, Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Eden Carson (T20I only), Izzy Gaze (ODI & 1st T20I), Maddy Green, Fran Jonas, Melie Kerr, Jess Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu.