Leigh Meghan Kasperek
February 15, 1992, Edinburgh, Midlothian
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
The joint-fastest to 50 T20I wickets - in just 29 matches - in the women's game, Leigh Kasperek evolved into a reliable offspinner and useful lower-order batter since making her debut for New Zealand in 2015.
Born in Edinburgh, she played age-group cricket for Scotland before making her senior debut for Scotland at the age of 15, representing her country against the English county teams in the 2007 County Challenge Cup. On the advice of Netherlands coach Job van Bunge, she played for Western Australia in the 2011-12 season of the 50-over Women's National Cricket League.
She turned out for Wellington the following season - without much success - before moving on to represent Otago. After a productive 2014-15 domestic season, and having just fulfilled the eligibility requirements, she earned a New Zealand call-up for the tour of India in June-July 2015. She took six wickets in the five-ODI series and four wickets in the three T20Is.
Kasperek returned to India as part of the squad for the T20 World Cup in 2016 and also played in the 2017 ODI World Cup in the UK.
Her only international century came in June 2018, in an ODI against hosts Ireland that saw New Zealand set several individual and team records. Her 295-run second-wicket stand with Amelia Kerr, who struck a world-record 232 not out, propelled New Zealand to 440 for 3, the third-highest total in the format. Five months later, she equalled West Indies spinner Anisa Mohammed's record (from 2012) for the fewest matches taken to reach 50 T20I wickets, achieving the feat against Australia at the 2018 T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.
In 2020, she featured in the BCCI-run Women's T20 Challenge in the UAE, and the following year, she played for Wellington in the domestic 50-over tournament and in the subsequent Rose Bowl series at home, where she picked up 6 for 46 in the second ODI, becoming the first woman to bag a six-for against Australia in limited-overs cricket.
ESPNcricinfo staff April 2021
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