Suzie Bates is New Zealand’s star all-rounder. A charming cricketer and someone who’s built naturally to dominate with sharp incisive instincts. A big match player, someone who possesses the guile and temerity to take her side the long way, Bates has emerged as one of the greats of the game, her name alongside legends like Raj, Perry, Lanning and Stafanie Taylor.
The talent she possesses can’t be explained in words. She is also a skilled Basketball player and someone who cherishes the ground cricket throws up so often. Bates learnt the game while playing with her brothers (Tom and Henry). Her talent as a cricketer was spotted during a national event for the Otago Girls’ High School. When just 15, she was a part of Otago Sparks side in the national women’s league.
She came into the limelight when she slammed a blistering 183 off 152 for Otago against Auckland in the State League in the 2005-06 season. That innings compelled selectors to draft her into the national set-up. As expected, she was subsequently picked to play for New Zealand in ODIs against India in 2005-06. The next year she made her T20I debut against South Africa. Since her debut she immediately became a key member of the team. Bates is a big tournament player. She always take her game to the next level during the mega-events, especially in World Cups. During the 2009 World Cup, she smashed 168, the third highest ODI score ever at that time in women’s cricket. In the 2013 World Cup, Bates smashed 407 runs and won the player of the tournament award, which also led to her winning the Women’s ODI Cricketer of the year.
The right-hander took over as captain in 2011 and has since then, done a successful job of leading the New Zealand Women’s side. The role has not affected her batting performances, in fact, it has brought the best out of her. Apart from winning the ICC ODI Cricketer of the year in 2013, Bates doubled it in 2015, claiming the ODI and T20I cricketer of the year awards. Most of the times, the ICC awards are reflected by her name in most categories. She is also one of the first women to consider herself as a full-time cricketer, when New Zealand Cricket gave her a central contract in 2013.
Bates had completed 100 ODIs for white ferns becoming only the eighth cricketer in New Zealand to achieve the feat and joins a list of greats – Debbie Hockley, Sara McGlashan, Amy Watkins. Her batting average in both of forms are just simply outstanding. She averages 43.00 in ODI’s and 27 in T20’s. She has over 5800 runs by her name in all forms of the game. Known for her aggressive nature with the bat, Bates is certainly seen in most of the T20 leagues.
Along with her batting, her handy medium pace bowling gives the extra dimension to whichever team she plays for. This is a big reason she was signed by Perth Scorchers for the Women’s Big Bash League, where she almost led them to the title in the second season, falling marginally short to Sydney Sixers in the final by seven runs. In 2017 she was signed by Adelaide Strikers and was also named as a captain. She also plays for Southern Wipers in Kia Super League.
Interestingly, she has also represented the New Zealand basketball team during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Bates only gave up basketball when she was offered the role of captain in 2011. She currently holds the record for the highest individual score and highest batting average in the New Zealand Women’s Twenty20 cricket team. A solitary joy eluding her even now is a world cup title.