Ahead of MCC Women v Rest of the World Women on Monday 19 May at Lord's, Raf Nicholson looks at New Zealand's Suzie Bates.
Suzie Bates (New Zealand & Rest of the World)
Suzie Bates is a dual international who represented New Zealand basketball at the 2008 Olympics, though since her appointment to the captaincy in 2011 she has chosen to focus solely on cricket.
Bates represented New Zealand basketball at the 2008 Olympics
A tall, powerfully built all-rounder, she was an instrumental part of New Zealand’s 2009 World Cup campaign, which saw them reach the final ahead of hosts Australia.
She took 4/7 with her medium pace in the group match against South Africa, but the highlight was her innings against Pakistan: a glorious 168 in 105 balls, including six sixes, the third highest score in women’s ODIs.
The last 18 months have been particularly successful for Bates: at the 2013 World Cup in India, she averaged 67.83 with the bat and hit a century against champions Australia.
Despite New Zealand’s fourth place finish, she was named Player of the Tournament and she was also ICC’s ODI Player of the Year. Last April, she became one of the first ever Kiwi women cricketers to be awarded a semi-professional contract by New Zealand Cricket.
She recently followed this up with an exciting 94* off 61 balls against Pakistan during the World Twenty20, the highest score by a Kiwi in women’s T20Is and the fifth highest ever.
With 1,588 T20I runs, she is now third on the list of all-time run-scorers in women’s T20Is, behind only Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor.
Suzie Bates on the historic clashhttp://audioboo.fm/boos/2172439-suzie-bates-lord-s-is-a-great-occasion
Other Players: MCC v Rest of the World
Kate Cross (England & MCC)
Pace bowler Kate Cross, who in 2006 became the first female cricketer accepted into the Lancashire Academy, waited so long to make her England debut that she considered giving up cricket altogether.
Called up to the England squad during their 2011 tour of Australia, she had to wait another two years to step on to the pitch in an England shirt, in the West Indies last October.
But it was worth the wait: in her first spell of bowling in international cricket, she dismantled West Indies' top order, taking 4/51 and winning the Player of the Match award.
Her Test debut, at Perth earlier this year, was equally special: stepping up to take the new ball on the third evening, her pace and accuracy saw her remove three of the Australian top order, leaving the home side reeling and playing a crucial part in England’s victory.
It was described by teammate Sarah Taylor as “one of the best spells of bowling I’ve ever seen”; Cross finished with figures of 6/70 in the match.
Having recently graduated from Leeds University and now the recipient of a full-time ECB contract, the future looks bright.
Danielle Hazell (England & MCC)
Off-spinner Danielle Hazell is number one in ICC’s Women’s T20I bowling rankings.
She achieved this after a spectacular few months with the ball in which she emerged as England’s premier spin bowler.
This was epitomised by her performance at the Rose Bowl in August 2013 during the Ashes series when, in the last over of Australia’s innings, she took three wickets in the first three balls, paving the way for an England series victory.
Prior to this Hazell’s talents had been recognised when, in 2008, a year before her call-up to the international side, she was awarded one of the first ever ECB contracts: of eight contracts awarded, she was the only uncapped player among them.
She made her debut in late 2009 against the West Indies and a career-best 4/12 against the same opposition in 2012 cemented her place in the side.
Though primarily a bowler, she has also demonstrated her all-round abilities at England level: she was at the crease in the 2012 Twenty20 final when, coming in at the fall of the eighth wicket, her 16 off 13 balls brought England within touching distance of the trophy – only to fall short by five runs.
Tickets for the MCC v Rest of the World's women's are still available, click here.