Tahuhu knows whom to celebrate with if New Zealand make semis

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Lea Tahuhu back, Jess Kerr included in New Zealand's squad for T20 World Cup 2020

Lea Tahuhu exults after picking up a wicket. © Getty Images

New Zealand speedster Lea Tahuhu certainly knows how to celebrate and with whom if they beat Australia on Monday (March 2) in Melbourne to make the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semifinals. Tahuhu will have wife Amy Satterthwaite and new-born daughter Grace in the crowd for New Zealand’s must-win clash against Australia. Former captain Satterthwaite is taking a break from cricket to look after their first child.

New Zealand fans are expected to flock to the Junction Oval for Monday’s must-win match against hosts Australia, including the youngest addition to their supporters’ band - Tahuhu’s new-born daughter Grace Marie. Tahuhu and her wife, fellow Satterthwaite, announced the arrival of their first child in January, the latter taking a break from all forms of cricket as a result.

And knowing the sacrifice Satterthwaite has made to take care of 49-day old Grace, Tahuhu is more determined than ever to turn New Zealand’s World Cup fortunes around and make them both proud. “Having my wife’s support to play at this World Cup is massive,” said Tahuhu. “It’s been a really big month for our family. Having our first daughter has been the most special thing in the world.”

“Amy and Grace travelled over for our Melbourne games and to be able to finish a game and go over to my wife and daughter is really, really special. Winning the World Cup is what we and the rest of the country are after. We’ve been disappointing in the last two T20 World Cups by not making the semi-finals, so that’s the first hurdle we’ll be looking to overcome,” added the senior pacer.

History is in Australia’s favour in Melbourne, the hosts having won the tournament four times and never failing to reach the knockout stages in its six previous editions. New Zealand, meanwhile, will be trying to live up to their claim that they can pose a serious threat on the world stage again after failing to advance from the group stage in the Caribbean in 2018.

But whatever the outcome of Monday’s grandstand finish against Australia, Tahuhu and New Zealand know they’ll still have a reason to cheer. “It brings a lot of perspective to our group, seeing two of our teammates have a child together,” said skipper Sophie Devine.

“Certainly for Lea and Amy, to have such a bundle of joy in their lives now and sharing that with the group. Little Grace has got 15 aunties now - anytime she needs a babysitter, she’s got a lot to go to. Whatever happens on the park, Lea can come off and know that she’s got a beautiful daughter who is going to love her regardless of what she does on the cricket field. That’s special for the whole group. We love cricket and it means a lot to us but there’s life outside of the boundary rope,” added Devine.