Thamsyn Newton to captain Wellington Blaze; Jess Kerr out of two HBJ Shield rounds

Thamsyn Newton of Wellington Blaze celebrates. © Getty Images

Thamsyn Newton, the allrounder, has been named captain of Wellington Blaze for the Hallyburton Johnstone (HBJ) Shield season that is set to commence on Saturday (November 21). The Blaze play Northern Spirit at the Basin Reserve.

Georgia Plimmer (16), Natasha Codyre (17), Kate Chandler (14) and Antonia Hamilton (16) are the four under-19 players included in the 13-member Blaze squad. While Codyre and Plimmer played for Blaze last season, there are potential debut for the other two in 2020-21 season.

“We’re very fortunate to have a leader like Thamsyn in our squad and we are confident that she will lead the team well in the one-day format,” said Ivan Tissera, head coach of Blaze about Newton, who has played 19 internationals for New Zealand.

“Thamsyn is hugely experienced at domestic level and has also represented New Zealand and she will have a big impact on the younger players we have introduced to the squad. We’re excited to bring two new faces through from the Under 19 squad and it shows the strong player pool we are developing at representative level.”

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A lot of key Blaze players would be missing in action from the initial part of the HBJ Shield – partly due to other commitments and partly due to injuries. While Sophie Devine, Maddy Green and Amelia Kerr are involved currently in the Women’s Big Bash League, Leigh Kasperek returned from the Women’s T20 Challenge and will be able to link-up after the necessary quarantine protocols are followed. Jess Kerr will miss the first two rounds of the competition due to injury.

Deanna Doughty, the leg-spinner who received her maiden call up with the national side against Australia last month, and Rebecca Burns, the development batter, will add depth to the Blaze outfit. Jess MacFadyen, who scored an unbeaten 153 against Otago Sparks last season, young Xara Jetly, Beth Molony, Maneka Singh and Caitlan King all are part of the squad for the opening fixture.

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