Leigh Kasperek included in NZ women squad
Natalie Dodd, Maddie Green and Leigh Kasperek have been included in the New Zealand women's squad that will tour India for five ODIs and three T20 internationals in June. They were replacements for Sara McGlashan and Erin Bermingham, who were unavailable due to work commitments, and Holly Huddleston who had been part of the team that played England in February.
Haidee Tiffen, the New Zealand women's coach appointed until the end of the 2017 World Cup, said she was excited about the challenges for her first tour as coach. "We haven't faced India a lot in recent times, but they're a team that are growing and will be a tough task to beat them, especially in their own conditions. But we're really pleased with the balance of the squad, we have plenty of pace and spin options. India have two batsmen ranked in the top five in the world, so we know we'll have to be on top of our game with the ball.
Kasperek, 23, previously played for Scotland women but was eligible for selection after playing the last three domestic seasons in New Zealand. "Kasperek's an all-round talent," Tiffen said. "She spins the ball, she is a dynamic batsman and an outstanding fielder, so she ticks all the boxes and it's exciting to see her get this opportunity."
Kasperek said she "couldn't believe it" when she got the call. "My parents were pretty rapt when I told them, although when I called them they had just woken up, so they were a bit dopey on it and it took them a bit to process it," she told Southland Times. "There is going to be five weeks of intensive training because it was a surprise, I wasn't expecting it."
All the ODIs will be played at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore - the first three will count towards the ICC Women's Championship - before the series shifts to Alur for three T20s.
"With championship points on the line, there's no shortage of incentive and we'll be doing everything possible to get an important series win," Tiffen said. "We have high expectations for ourselves and expect to make it tough for them as well."
Squad: Suzie Bates (capt), Kate Broadmore, Sophie Devine, Natalie Dodd, Maddie Green, Georgia Guy, Leigh Kasperek, Morna Nielsen, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.