With Sophie Devine in charge, there is a sense that anything might be possible for the White Ferns. Having enjoyed a Women’s Big Bash campaign of unprecedented individual success, the allrounder is in the form of her life.
Amelia Kerr, still just 19 years of age, remains a player of enormous potential, while nobody in the history of the T20 World Cup can match the number of runs scored by Suzie Bates. On paper, at least, there is no reason why New Zealand cannot be among the challengers for this title.
Playing just a stone’s throw from home, they will be well supported.
OUT OF PRACTICE
The White Ferns only played three T20Is in 2019, winning all three against India. In Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine and the returning Rachel Priest, New Zealand have a triumvirate of proven class.
Heir final preparations for the tournament could scarcely have gone better, beating a much-fancied South African side convincingly in a three-match bilateral series.
RECENT RESULTS (most recent last - to Feb 1): LLLLLWWWWW
WAVING THE WHITE FERN
Finalists in the first two tournaments in 2009 and 2010, that is as good as it’s been for a desperately talented White Ferns outfit.
There have been semi-final defeats more recently – against England in 2012 and West Indies in 2016. Other than that, it has been a surprisingly sorry tale for New Zealand, who fell out in the group stage in 2018 and in Bangladesh in 2014.
A brutal group last time around did Amy Satterthwaite’s side no favours on that occasion, with Australia and India going through ahead.
Overall, however, they have lost just eight games in the tournament’s history – only Australia and England, with seven, have lost fewer.
WORLD CUP RECORD
2014: First round
2018: First round