Bates stepping down from captaincy to focus on scoring runs

Suzie Bates.
Suzie Bates.
It is hard to imagine Suzie Bates can get much better.

But after six years she is stepping down as captain of the White Ferns to focus on her core role of scoring runs.

The 30-year-old said she believed she could contribute more to the team that way.

''It is never an easy decision to let go of something that I've really loved,'' Bates said.

''It has been a long stint and probably the last 12 months I've struggled with dealing with the captaincy and playing.

''Perhaps the performances as a group have not gone as well as I would have liked.

Amy Satterthwaite
Amy Satterthwaite
''But now the decision has been made, it makes sense for my own game to be able to concentrate on that at the end of my career and put as much into performing as well as I can.''

Bates said she could look back at her stint as captain knowing she gave it her all.

She also felt the added responsibility helped lift her game initially. It forced her to learn more about the sport.

But with the increased volume of cricket, Bates felt the leadership had a negative impact on her performances.

However, she still feels she has a lot to contribute to the White Ferns and international cricket.

''I love the game, and when you play for so long you realise how important cricket is to your life and I don't want to give up when I still have lots of runs left in me.''

Bates overhauled Debbie Hockley's 4066 runs to become the White Ferns' all time one-day international leading scorer when she blasted 151 from 94 balls against Ireland in Dublin in June.

The right-hander has scored 4245 ODI runs at an average of 43.76, including 10 centuries. Only four players in the history of the women's game have scored more.

Among her many achievements, Bates was named Wisden's leading female cricketer in 2015 and in 2013 she was named player of the tournament at the World Cup and ICC women's cricketer of the year.

Bates took over as captain at the end of 2011 and led the side through two World Cups and three Women's World T20 tournaments.

Amy Satterthwaite will take over as captain and is looking forward to what will be a busy 2018-19 season for the team.

''It's a huge honour to be asked to captain your country and I'm really excited about what lies ahead,'' Satterthwaite said.

''Suzie has done an outstanding job captaining the White Ferns over the past few years and I'm sure she'll continue to contribute considerably in a leadership sense.''

Satterthwaite's first assignment in charge will be a three-match T20 series against Australia before the team heads to the ICC Women's World T20I in the West Indies in November.

The White Ferns begin a four-day camp at Lincoln today in preparation for the tour to Australia at the end of the month.

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