It’s pretty special: Amy Satterthwaite prepares for milestone match

Amy Satterthwaite plays an elegant shot into the off-side. © Getty Images

If Amy Satterthwaite takes the field in the first T20I against Australia on Saturday (September 26), it would have been been after a gap of 585 days. Imagine having to wait that long between your 99th and 100th T20I! However, it seems only right that Satterthwaite’s century is treated as a bit of a ‘double celebration’ – the return of international cricket to Australia and the return of one of New Zealand’s best batters in what happens to be a milestone match.

Speaking about the milestone and what it would mean to her to represent her country in 100 T20Is, the left-hander said she is thrilled to be able to celebrate the achievement with her family, and especially her daughter Grace.

“I think it’s pretty special,” said Satterthwaite. “It always just makes you reflect on your career so far and, I guess, what’s gone before. But I think [it’s] just really special to be able to have Grace here and to have my family here’s going to be nice on the day.”

“Just reflecting on what’s been so far and to be able to come back and play and get this milestone will be a pretty proud [moment] – to be able to walk across that line and achieve that.”

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The 33-year-old had earlier admitted that one of her biggest fears upon returning was that she may have “forgotten how to bat.” However, having allowed her “natural skill” to take over and put those demons to rest, she said she is excited about the prospect of playing some competitive cricket.

“Yeah I have been feeling good actually. There’s always that kind of nerves and apprehension about how you are going to go when you are coming back and you’ve been out of the game for a wee while, but to a certain extent I feel like I haven’t been gone for too long. I certainly feel like I’ve slotted back in amongst the group pretty well and feel like I am hitting the ball okay. So, the test is always going to be when you get out in the middle and face up against those bowlers,” she said.

Having made her T20I debut in July 2007, Satterthwaite has scored over 1500 runs and taken 24 wickets – including a New Zealand record of 6 for 17 – through her career so far. She has been part of two New Zealand sides that finished as runners up in the T20 World Cup in 2009 and 2010, and also led the side in the 2018 edition of the tournament.

While Satterthwaite is no doubt at the back end of her career, New Zealand have selected a number of young players in their 17-member squad. The likes of Jess Watkin, Jess Kerr and Deanna Doughty are still trying to find their feet at international level, and the New Zealand vice-captain said that it was the responsibility of the senior group to help the younger players settle in quickly.

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“I know when you are that stage of your career it’s always exciting but pretty nerve wracking as well. So, hopefully, we can make them feel really comfortable and express themselves and show their skillsets that they’ve got,” she said.

“They are going really well. It’s like they have been here for a long time – which is always what you want. You want them to come in and feel really part of the group and be able to just express themselves and show their skills that got them selected in a squad like this. I’m really excited to see what they can bring to the group.”

New Zealand have been in Australia for the last two weeks, training at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane ahead of the series. Satterthwaite, who has been juggling her time on the field with parental duties off it, said that while it has been a “different” experience so far, she is enjoying the challenge of balancing life on and off the field.

“It’s actually been not to bad for me – obviously having Grace has kept me pretty busy and distracted, but I think overall it’s been pretty good. I think the girls have enjoyed having Grace around and getting a few smiles throughout the day and perking them up.”

“We’ve been looked after pretty well and the training’s been really massive. We’re really fizzing to be able to go out and explore a little more and also get stuck into some cricket.”

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