New Zealand Player Faces Doubt for T20 World Cup

New Zealand’s Women’s team is facing trouble in their preparation for the T20 World Cup. Team captain Sophie Devine has sustained a stress fracture in her foot, and there are doubts about her participation in the World Cup.

Devine sustained the fracture during the Super Smash, which forced her to miss four games for Wellington Blaze. According to coach Ben Sawyer, Devine will play no part in the three-match practice series against England starting on Saturday as she manages her injury.

In one interview, Sawyer had stated that the captain’s absence was a precautionary measure and a part of her rehab plan. Sawyer insisted he’s confident his captain will be ready to go for their opening match of the tournament against Australia on February 11.

“[We’re] taking it nice and slow with her. The goal is to get her fit for the two official warm-up games [after the England practice series],” Sawyer told reporters while in Pretoria.

Before Devine was pulled from playing in the next three games, the captain was seen wearing a moon boot when the teams met at Auckland Airport to depart for the tournament in South Africa. When questioned about the boot, she stated, “Something flared up, so we’re just taking the really cautious route in terms of making sure, obviously it’s the new accessory for summer.”



Other than Devine, teenage spin sensation Fran Jonas also sustained an injury recently. The 18-year-old was pulled from the New Zealand squad at the U19-T20 World Cup in South Africa last week after suffering a calf injury.
According to an official statement by New Zealand Cricket, Jonas had “suffered a second-degree soleus strain and a first-degree gastrocnemius strain which will require two weeks of rehabilitation”.
Fortunately, Sawyer has confirmed the player’s recovery and told reporters that Jonas is currently training and will play some part in the practice series against England. Jonas will also likely feature in the practice series with England that starts on Saturday.
So far, Devine nor Jonas hasn’t faced any difficulties with their recovery. If Devine wasn’t fit, it would be a massive blow for the White Ferns because she is a key player, especially for the batting group.
Recently, the White Ferns captain was named skipper of the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year in the 2022 ICC Awards, scoring 389 runs at a strike rate of 112 and taking 13 wickets across T20Is over the calendar year.
For this year’s T20 World Cup, the White Ferns are in group A with Australia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka and host South Africa. Five teams feature in each group, with the top two from each qualifying for the semi-finals.
In the previous World Cup in 2020, New Zealand failed to progress to the final four after narrow defeats in the group stage against the hosts and India.
The 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Australia from 10 to 26 February 2023. The first match of the tournament will be between South Africa and Sri Lanka at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.

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