Sophie Devine: Hope to emulate the heroes of 2000 by winning the World Cup at home

Sophie Devine
New Update
Home World Cup is going to be a wholesome opportunity, says Sophie Devine

Sophie Devine © Getty Images

It is the honour of a lifetime to be captaining New Zealand as we host the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 and leading my side out for the first game will be an experience I will never forget and an opportunity I never thought I would have.

I’ve been fortunate to have played across a number of World Cups and know just how special each tournament is. Playing in New Zealand is massive for us as a team; we’ve spoken at length about how privileged and grateful we are to be playing at home particularly in the world we live in at the current time.

Looking back, it was an incredible achievement from the 2000 WHITE FERNS to win the World Cup at home. It certainly inspired several players in our current team, and we hope we can also inspire a new generation of cricketers both at home and around the world.

We all know it’s not every day you get to play a marquee tournament in your own backyard. It will be great to showcase our incredible culture and country – we can’t wait to welcome all the teams to Aotearoa.

ALSO READ: Mithali Raj: Imagine the impact of India lifting the World Cup!

We are very grateful to all the teams for making sacrifices to join us for what will hopefully be an exciting and hard-fought tournament. It has been a tough time for everyone over the past couple of years and this World Cup is a chance for us to put a smile on people’s faces and unite fans around the world in the sport we love.

Playing at home does come with added pressure and responsibility but knowing the country is behind us and will be supporting us is a great motivation. The WHITE FERNS will definitely be feeding off the infectious energy of our fans and, hopefully, it can give us an edge over the other teams.

This tournament will break new ground for women’s cricket, firstly as Bangladesh become the 12th team to compete in an ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup.

I am looking forward to coming up against Nigar Sultana and her team. We were really impressed when we played them for the first time at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020 and I am sure they will put up just as much of a fight in the 50-over format.

Bangladesh and Thailand show how the women's game is continuing to grow and the importance of the ICC Women's Championship which I am happy to see expand to 10 teams. I see us playing an important role in ensuring that we grow the game. Having stronger teams and more competitive cricket can only be a positive thing for the women’s game.

ALSO READ: A World Cup trophy would certainly go nicely in the cabinet: Sophie Devine

The coming year is huge for women's cricket as it makes its debut at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July-August, and with the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup scheduled for early next year in South Africa. It is super exciting to kick-off a huge period for women’s cricket and we want to put performances out there that both ourselves and the country can be proud of.

From the captain’s column for ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, supplied by ICC Media Zone.