New Zealand have announced the squad for the upcoming series against England. Auckland teenager Fran Jonas and Northern Districts’ Brooke Halliday have earned their maiden call-up to the New Zealand team for the three-match One-Day International series, starting from February 23. Meanwhile, Frances Mackay, who was out of the squad due to an Achilles injury since February 2019, has also been added in the Sophie Devine-led squad.

However, veteran Suzie Bates is going to miss the series because of her shoulder injury. Although she had recovered from it, she again sustained the injury in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). Apart from her, Rosemary Mair too has been out due to a side strain as well. 

As far as the newcomers are concerned, Brooke Halliday has tasted a fair share of success with the bat in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield. She finished the tournament as the second-highest run-getter whereas Fran Jonas placed fourth in the wicket-takers list as well.

“Brooke and Fran both deserve their call-ups on the back of strong domestic form,” New Zealand head coach Bob Carter said. “Brooke’s done a superb job at the top of the order for the Spirit and offers a point of difference as a left-hander.”

“Fran’s an exceptional talent who’s proven she can foot it with our top players. It’s exciting to add a left-arm spinner to our squad and the balance that offers our bowling attack. This is a great chance for them to come in and develop their games. We’ve selected them for a reason and look forward to welcoming them into the group,” he again shared.

Meanwhile, Auckland Hearts’ Head Coach Nick White, who has been working with Jonas for many years now, believes that she has the ability to succeed in future.

“Fran has continued to impress this season for the Hearts and fully deserves this opportunity,” said White. “She has a fluent, economical action and excellent work ethic so she’ll relish the chance to work with the WHITE FERNS coaches to continue her development. At 16 years old, Fran is just at the beginning of her cricketing journey and we need to make sure she has the support around her as she embarks on this next step.”

However, the head coach is hopeful of the all-rounder Frankie Mackay, who is all set to return after a long time.

“Frankie has once again proven her all-round skills in the domestic game and gets another chance at the international level,” said Carter. “She is a vastly experienced cricketer and will be an asset with both bat and ball.”

Moreover, Bob Carter hopes to form a strong team while keeping the focus on the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand next year. And, also believes to have improvement on recent ODI performances as well.

“With the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand next year, we want to take this opportunity to build the best possible team for the tournament,” he concluded.

The New Zealand team will assemble on Wednesday, 17th February in Christchurch for a training camp prior to their first ODI against England at Hagley Oval on February 23. After the three-match ODI series, both the team will play three-match Twenty20 International series from Match 3 too.

Squad: Sophie Devine (C), Natalie Dodd, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Frankie Mackay, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.

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