New Zealand women's captain Amy Satterthwaite will be taking an indefinite break from cricket as she prepares to have her first child with her wife and team-mate Lea Tahuhu. A New Zealand Cricket statement said Satterthwaite will return to the game "when the time is right", but she will continue to be contracted under the newly introduced Women's Master Agreement.
"Lea and I are overjoyed to share the news that I'm expecting our first child early in the new year," Satterthwaite was quoted as saying in the NZC statement. "It is a special time in our lives and we can't wait for this new chapter.
"I am very lucky to have great support from NZC with regard to taking a break from the game to have a family. I feel I still have a lot to give to the game and look forward to working my way back with an eye on the 2021 ICC Women's World Cup held in New Zealand."
The board's CEO, David White, said, "As soon as the Women's Master Agreement (already agreed in principle) is signed off and confirmed, Amy will be announced as one of our contracted White Ferns for the 2019-20 year. As such, she will be the first player to benefit from the new pregnancy leave provisions included in the new agreement.
"This means she'll be paid her full retainer throughout and, although possibly fulfilling some off-field contractual obligations, will not be required to train or play."
Satterthwaite said she would look to take up mentoring duties during her leave of absence, sharing her experiences as a senior player with the rest of the squad: "I look forward to being involved with the White Ferns squad where possible and offering support and knowledge in a mentoring capacity."
A wider pool of contracted players, extending to the domestic level for the first time, and a significant pay hike for centrally contracted New Zealand women players were among the key features of the Women's Master Agreement that was announced earlier this month.
Satterthwaite will also miss the upcoming Women's Big Bash League in Australia, where she captains Melbourne Renegades. The Renegades confirmed that they will be looking for a replacement international player, while congratulating Satterthwaite and Tahuhu, who also plays for them.