Three new Sparks in line for debuts15 Nov 2019
Three players are in line to make their debuts for the SBS Bank Otago Sparks when they face defending Hallyburton Johnstone Shield champions the Central Hinds in Levin this weekend.
WHITE FERN Hayley Jensen will appear in blue and gold for the first time following her move South from the Canterbury Magicians, while Bhaghya Herath and Sophie Gray have made the move South from Wellington and Christchurch respectively.
The debuts are a feature of a Sparks squad that has experienced much change, with two of last year’s major performers opting to move on over the winter.
WHITE FERN leigh Kasperek returned to the Wellington Blaze in August, while Polly Inglis decided to stay in England after her summer playing for Notts.
Kasperek and Inglis’ exit opens up further opportunities for some of the Spark’s brightest young talents.
Eden Carson (18), Emma Black (18) and Olivia Gain (17) have developed well over the last few seasons and will be looking to continue their development after all being included in the Spark’s women’s domestic contract list for this season.
The Sparks will be without the services of WHITE FERNS Suzie Bates and Katey Martin for the majority of the one-day competitions while they take part in the Women’s Big Bash.
Sparks head coach Nathan King said he was looking forward to the challenges that the start of a new season always brings.
“It’s been a pretty long pre-season, we started our preparations in June, so we’re really excited to get underway tomorrow,” he said.
“We’re missing some key players who are unavailable and that’s really exciting because it creates some opportunities for our debutants and it also gives some of the girls who have been around for a couple of seasons the chance to really step up and take some leadership amongst the team.
“The Hinds are a strong side and will be keen to start their defence well so this will be a really good early challenge to see where we’re at as a team.”
Play gets underway at 10.30am on Saturday and 10.00am on Sunday at Donnelly Park in Levin – spectator entry is free.
Otago Sparks squad | Hallyburton Johnstone Shield | Round One & Two
Bella James (Kaikorai) (C)
Emma Black (Carisbrook Dunedin)
Caitlin Blakely (Kaikorai)
Ella Brown (University Grange, Albion Gore)
Eden Carson (Carisbrook Dunedin)
Georgia Clarke (St Albans – Christchurch)
Olivia Gain (Kaikorai)
Sophie Gray (St Albans - Christchurch)
Bhagya Herath (University Grange)
Sophie Oldershaw (University Grange)
Bridget Thayer (Kaikorai)
Hallyburton Johnstone Shield Round One & Two
Central Hinds v Otago Sparks
November 16 2019, 10.30am and
November 17 2019, 10.00am
Donnelly Park, Levin
Live scoring: visit nzc.nz