I'm hoping for pace, bounce, plenty of runs for batters: Sophie Devine

It's been an incredible time to be involved with women's cricket and the T20 format has been a real driver for the growth in the game

Sophie Devine
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NZC Awards: Sophie Devine T20I Player of the Year, Amelia Kerr Super Smash Player of the Year

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We’re really excited to be here in South Africa for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Like every other team that’s here - we are here to win it. We know what it takes to win games of cricket and the style of play that can help us achieve that. It's now up to us to be able to do that game after game under the pressures of a World Cup.

We’re fortunate that the World Cup is at the back end of our home summer, so we’ve had plenty of cricket recently. We have all been playing in the Super Smash, our own T20 competition, as well as T20 and ODI series against Bangladesh before Christmas, so we feel as prepared as we will ever be.

We've selected a team that provides us with plenty of options with the ball, particularly in the spin department. And with the bat we have experience throughout our squad which will hold us in good stead at this pinnacle event. It’s an exciting time for Molly Penfold and Eden Carson who take part in their very first ICC World Cups, and we also welcome back wicketkeeper-batter Bernadine Bezuidenhout, who has spent the last two years away from the game.

It's been an incredible time to be involved with women's cricket and the T20 format has been a real driver for the growth in the game. The professionalism has increased dramatically and we're seeing that in the way players are clearing the rope, athleticism in the field and bowlers bowling quicker. Our experienced players such as Suzie Bates and Melie Kerr are going to be key players but I'm really excited by our young guns coming through such as Fran Jonas and Georgia Plimmer - both are playing at the U19 World Cup and will certainly be the future of the WHITE FERNS.

We know that other teams are very strong. England’s Nat Sciver and Alice Capsey have shown in recent times how talented they are and will play a big role in this tournament. It is great for the tournament and the women’s game to see Meg Lanning back for the Australians. South Africa at home are going to be a very dangerous side especially with Dane van Nierkerk back in the team.

I feel lucky to have played in a few of these tournaments now and each one is special. Thinking back to the early days, the World Cup in the West Indies was great fun and I loved travelling around the different countries in the Caribbean. It’s really exciting that this is the first World Cup held in South Africa – I’m hoping that there’ll be pace and bounce on offer and plenty of runs for the batters!

Column written by New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine for the ICC ahead of the Women's T20 World Cup 2023, supplied by ICC Media Zone.