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The Otago Sparks will head into camp this week to further ramp up preparations for the season ahead.
The side has been training together since the start of July and had a training camp in Alexandra on the weekend, coach Craig Cumming said.
‘‘We had two days there on grass which was fantastic.
‘‘We had net sessions, open-wicket training and did some live scrimmages and did a bit of work off the park around our culture,’’ Cumming said.
‘‘It was really good and we’ve got another camp coming up this weekend in Dunedin.
‘‘We’ve had a great preparation compared with last year.
‘‘As a coach I feel like we’re moving through the preparation phase well.’’
An intrasquad game is planned for Sunday which Cumming said would be a good hit-out before the Sparks’ s opening one-day game against
Central Districts at Saxton Oval in Nelson on October
The Sparks contract offers were confirmed earlier this week and the list featured three newcomers, although one is unlikely to suit up for the Sparks this season.
Former White Fern Felicity Leydon-Davis had back surgery recently and it appears unlikely she will be able to take up her contract.
Cumming said he was unsure what the next step would be if Leydon-Davis is ruled out.
‘‘The first thing we have to do is get a medical report on her status and see if she can play or not and that will go through an official process.’’
Among those unlucky to miss out were Gemma Adams, Marina Lamplough, Olivia Gain and Saffron Wilson.
The foursome are all expected to feature during the campaign.
Cumming said it was a ‘‘really tough process because you can only contract nine’’.
‘‘You have 12 in a match-day squad so you will always have players who will miss out who will play an active part in the season.’’
White Ferns trio Suzie Bates, Katey Martin and Hayley Jensen will join the squad at a later date and are expected to play more cricket for the Sparks this season than in previous years.
Their presence will bolster the side’s prospects.
The Sparks have not won a one-day game since the 2018-19 season which is a rather dry run.