Felicity Leydon-Davis moves to Otago Sparks from Northern Districts

© Getty Images

Felicity Leydon-Davis has moved to Otago Sparks from her current team, Northern Districts, for the upcoming domestic season, it was announced on Thursday (May 6). The allrounder was part of Districts for twelve years.

“After 12 years at Northern Districts, I felt the time was right for a fresh start,” said Leydon-Davis.

“The Sparks are an exciting young team, who really seem to enjoy their cricket and I’m looking forward to being part of the environment.”

The 26-year-old played ten games in the Hallyburton Johnstone (HBJ) Shield Tournament in 2020-21, scoring 237 runs with a best of 88 against Otago Sparks. With the ball she returned with seven wickets to go with the five she picked in the Super Smash.

“I’ve always looked up to Suzie Bates as a cricketer, but really, I’m looking forward to playing alongside the whole team,” said Leydon-Davis, who took five for 18  as a 19-year-old in her only ODI for New Zealand so far.

“Being able to work with the likes of Craig Cumming (head coach), and some very experienced senior players will be a huge benefit to my game.”

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Felicity Leydon-Davis

Felicity Leydon-Davis played the most T20s for Northern Districts and is their leading wicket-taker in the format. © Getty Images

Sparks finished at the bottom of the table in the HBJ Shield tournament, failing to win a single game out of the ten. In the Super Smash, too, they were lurking in the bottom of the table, finishing fifth after managing to win just three of the ten matches. The arrival of Leydon-Davis should act as a boost to them.

“It’s heartening that players of the quality of Felicity see the Otago Sparks as an opportunity to develop their cricket,” said Simon Forde, High Performance Manager.

“It is a credit to Craig Cumming as head coach, the support staff and our players for developing a strong culture where growing players on and off the field is our number one priority. We welcome Felicity and look forward to working alongside her to take her game to the next level.”

Leydon-Davis picked 32 wickets, the most for Districts, and played the most T20s for them, making 72 appearances. She has 86 List A caps for them, scoring 1,645 runs and picking 75 wickets.

“ND has always been my home and the region has provided me with a great performance pathway to help get me to where I am today. I will always be proud of my time playing for ND,” said the allrounder, who has played eight T20Is for New Zealand.

“It is a sad day for sure, but I know that the timing is right, and I’m very excited about the next step. I’m proud to have represented ND for so long.”

“I’d like to thank Northern Districts for their support over the years and their ongoing commitment to the women’s game. The calibre of the coaching staff with Joanne Broadbent (head coach) now involved full time, has been a huge benefit to the women’s programme.”

Broadbent, the former Australian batter, acknowledged the void that Leydon-Davis leaved behind and heaped praise on the allrounder.

“Felicity contributed to our environment greatly over a number of years. The HBJ final last season being a highlight, scoring a century in what was a brilliant batting performance,” said Broadbent.

“Whilst we are losing her experience and leadership, we wish her all the best for the next steps in her career.”