New Zealand captain Sophie Devine is putting a positive spin on the two-week quarantine period that her team will have to undergo on their tour of Australia. Devine said the isolation will allow the players to spend time together ahead of the limited-overs series starting September 26, and said they were “in a really fortunate position” to be able to get back on the park so soon.
“It’s one of the silver linings of this trip,” Devine told NZC just before New Zealand departed for Australia. “It’s not very often that we get to go on an overseas tour and have two weeks preparation leading into the first game. It’s normally a week.”
This will be the first time that both teams will play any competitive cricket since the T20 World Cup in March. While men’s international cricket resumed two months ago with West Indies touring England, this marks the first occasion of a top women’s series taking place since the coronavirus-induced pause in world cricket.
“We’re really excited to be spending time as a wider group of 17 players… as we’ve been stuck indoors for the last couple of months,” Devine said. “We now have to be at our best to beat the Australian side in Australia.”
Australia are the current holders of the T20 World Cup, but Devine put the sides on the same page, with neither having played competitive cricket in the recent past.
“Though the lockdown has been different on either side of the Tasman [Sea], none of us have played cricket for quite a while,” Devine said. “So I think it’s a really nice opportunity for us to go out there and hit the Aussies hard.”
Australia have dominated bilateral ODI contests against New Zealand over the last two decades, with New Zealand having last won the Rose Bowl (the trophy for ODI series between the two teams) in 1999.
“The aim is to certainly to bring back the Rose Bowl,” Devine said. “It’s been close to 20 years now [since] we’ve had it on our side of the Tasman, so that’s going to be a massive motivation for us to go out there and pinch the Rose Bowl back.”