Duo return for New Zealand’s tour of Sri Lanka

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Fast bowler Rosemary Mair and wicketkeeper Izzy Gaze have made their way back into New Zealand’s women’s squad ahead of a tour to Sri Lanka.

Mair makes her return having last featured in New Zealand colours back at the Commonwealth Games in August last year, having been an omission for the team’s trips to the West Indies and

T20 World Cup in South Africa.

19-year-old Gaze meanwhile comes in as back-up to Bernadine Bezuidenhout, having also missed out on the campaign in South Africa, the ICC reported.

Coach Ben Sawyer welcomed back the pair having earned their spots back.

“We’re excited to have Rosemary and Izzy back,” Sawyer said.

“Both players have worked hard on their respective games since their last international tours and we’re looking forward to seeing how they handle the challenges that this tour will bring.

“They both bring their own unique strengths to the group and we hope that they’ll contribute to what will hopefully be a successful tour,” Sawyer said.

Their first bilateral women’s series in the country, New Zealand will play three T20Is, as well as three ODIs as part of the ICC Women’s Championship.

Of the squad named, only Sophie Devine and Suzie Bates have experienced playing in Sri Lanka, taking part in the 2012 Women’s T20 World Cup.

The remainder of the squad has a familiar feel with Devine leading the side, with the likes of Melie Kerr, Lea Tahuhu and Maddy Green all picked. Eden Carson and Fran Jonas join Kerr in the group

of young spinners.

Batter Lauren Down is unavailable for the tour due to family reasons, while Hayley Jensen is recovering from knee surgery.

For Sawyer, the tour presents the ideal chance for the group to experiment in alien conditions.

“This is the first time almost all of the squad will have experienced playing in Sri Lanka so it’s a

good opportunity for our players to develop their game in testing sub-continent conditions.

“Sri Lanka will pose challenges with the unfamiliar conditions out in the middle, but also with the

heat and humidity, so we will need to be able to adapt quickly both on and off the field,” Sawyer

added.

New Zealand squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Eden Carson, Izzy Gaze, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Melie Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu.

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