New Zealand announce squad for Women’s T20 World Cup, Bernadine Bezuidenhout named

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Wicketkeeper-batter Bernadine Bezuidenhout has earned her way back into the national team as New Zealand announced their 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup 2022. The marquee event is set to kick off on February 10 in South Africa, and Bezuidenhout will produce it. His international comeback after two years.

The 29-year-old Bezuidenhout was recovering from RED-S (Relative Strength Deficiency in Sport), a condition common to many New Zealand female athletes. Jess McFadden, who donned the gloves during New Zealand’s recent outing against the West Indies, has been ruled out of the tournament and is the only change made to the White Ferns’ squad.

Since returning this summer, Bezuidenhout has made a statement. He scored his second List-A century for the Northern Districts on the opening weekend of the Halliburton Johnstone Shield and was selected for the New Zealand XI that played Bangladesh in a warm-up 50-over and T20I game in November.

Head coach Ben Sawyer believes Bezuidenhout’s addition to the squad will prove to be a huge plus and he will add a wealth of knowledge and skills to the squad.

“Over the last seven or eight months we have been looking to establish a brand of cricket that we believe the audience will enjoy and, at the same time, gives us the best chance of success in the big tournaments. With his work both with the bat and behind the stumps, we believe Barney will contribute positively to that style of play,” Sawyer was quoted as saying by NZC.

“Bernie has already shown this season what he can do with both bat and gloves and we think his previous international experience will stand him in good stead at this World Cup. He has had quite the journey to return to cricket this season and we are really looking forward to welcoming him back into the White Ferns environment,” he added.

Of the 15 players in New Zealand’s T20 World Cup squad, 13 have ODI or T20 World Cup experience. The team, which includes well-known players Suzy Bates, Maddie Green and Mellie Kerr, will be led by experienced player Sophie Devine. Devine is currently recovering from a minor leg injury but will be back fit for the World Cup.

New Zealand Women’s Squad for T20 World Cup:

Sophie Devine (C), Suzy Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout (WK), Eden Carson, Lauren Down, Maddie Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Mellie Kerr, Jess Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plummer, Hannah Roe, Leah Tahuhu

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