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

The World Cup is set to commence from February 10, 2023.

New Zealand women
New Zealand women. (Photo by Mark Tantrum/Getty Images)

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Wicketkeeper-batter Bernadine Bezuidenhout earned her way back into the national side as New Zealand announced their 15-member squad for the upcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2022. The marquee event is set to begin on February 10 in South Africa, and Bezuidenhout will make her international comeback after a gap of two years.

29-year-old Bezuidenhout had been recovering from RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports), a common condition in many female athletes of New Zealand. Jess McFadyen, who kept the gloves during New Zealand’s recent outing against West Indies misses out of the tournament, and that is the only change that has been made in the White Ferns’ squad.

Since making a comeback this summer, Bezuidenhout has made a statement. She scored her second List-A century for Northern Districts on the opening weekend of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, and she was chosen for the New Zealand XI team that played Bangladesh in warm-up 50-over and T20 games in November.

Head coach Ben Sawyer believes that Bezuidenhout’s inclusion in the squad would prove to be a huge plus, and she will add a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team.

“For the past seven or eight months we’ve been looking to establish a brand of cricket which we believe spectators will enjoy and, at the same time, gives us the best possible chance of success in major tournaments. With both the bat in hand and her work behind the stumps, we believe that Bernie will contribute positively to that style of play,” Sawyer was quoted as saying by NZC.

“Bernie has already shown this season what she can do with both bat and gloves, and we think that her previous international experience will stand her in good stead in this World Cup. She has gone on quite a journey to return to cricket this season and we’re really looking forward to welcoming her back into the WHITE FERNS environment,” the coach added.

13 of the 15 players in New Zealand's T20 World Cup roster have one-day or T20 World Cup experience. The team, which includes well-known players Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, and Amelia Kerr, will be captained by one of the most experienced players, Sophie Devine. Devine is currently recovering from a minor foot injury, but is expected to return fit for the world cup.

New Zealand Women’s Squad for T20 World Cup:

Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout (wk), Eden Carson, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Melie Kerr, Jessica Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu

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