Devine eager to get cracking at World T20

Sophie Devine. Photo: Getty Images
Sophie Devine. Photo: Getty Images
Better late than never for White Ferns all-rounder Sophie Devine.

She has been a late arrival to the White Ferns squad for the ICC World T20 in Guyana.

The heavy-hitter delayed her departure so she could attend her her sister's wedding.

"I probably would've been kicked out of the family if I'd missed it," she said.

"Cricket is really important but family comes first."

But the 43-hour trip to Guyana could not pass quickly enough.

"I think I had a bit of FOMO [fear of missing out]. I saw on social media the girls getting stuck into training and warm-up games.

"It's nice to come back and join the group. It's a bit like family and the group seem in a really good space," she said.

The White Ferns open their campaign against India early tomorrow morning New Zealand time.

Devine shapes as a big threat with the bat, of course. In 76 twenty20 matches for her country, she has scored 1710 runs at average of 27.14.

But it is her career strike rate of 123.91 which will give her opponents the most pause for thought.

She hits the ball as hard as anyone in the women's game.

While she is certain to have an impact with the bat at the top of the order, she is keen to contribute with the ball as well. The right-arm medium-pacer has 72 wickets in the format at a healthy average of 16.70.

"It has been spoken about that the spinners might play more of a role. But I think as a medium-pacer variable bounce, change-ups and variations are all going to be really key as well.

"That's all I'll be looking to do and trying to hit the sticks as much as possible. [If you] can put the batter under pressure as much as possible and make them have to play, then I'm always in with a shout."

Leading batsman Suzie Bates and the captain Amy Satterthwaite shape as the two other major batting weapons in the side, while Otago's Leigh Kasperek should find conditions to her liking.

The 26-year-old spinner has built an impressive career with 46 wickets at an average of 12.47 in the format.

She will have to share the limelight with teenage legspinner Amelia Kerr, who will only get better with more experience.

The White Ferns are in in group B with Australia, Pakistan, Ireland and India.

The format is nice and simple with the top two teams from each group progressing to the semifinals.

The White Ferns finished runners-up in 2009 and 2010. Their main opposition will come from three-time champion Australia, defending champion the West Indies and England, which won the inaugural tournament in 2009.


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