9 Sep 2020

Quarantine positives the focus for White Ferns

12:40 pm on 9 September 2020

The White Ferns are focussing on the upsides as they prepare to jump through the hoops necessary to play in Australia.

White Fern cricketer Sophie Devine.


Three T20 matches at the end of this month and the Rose Bowl one-day series at the start of next month awaited the New Zealand women's cricket side across the Tasman.

The tour would be the first time a team from one of the country's major codes had taken part in international matches since Covid-19 brought the world to a halt more than five months ago.

That meant, before matches could start, the White Ferns had to complete a two-week quarantine - with their movements limited to their Brisbane hotel and a training facility.

Prior to boarding for their flight to Australia on Wednesday, captain Sophie Devine said it was a small price to pay.

"We are in a really fortunate position and we've got a lot of thanks to give to New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Australia for forging ahead with this tour.

"Everyone's been chomping at the bit to get back out on the park. We've been training hard in the regions so it's nice to go forward and if that means that we have to be stuck in a hotel room for a couple of weeks then so be it because we've got the freedom to go out and do something on the park."

In fact, the White Ferns weren't simply happy to accept they had to go through the two-week quarantine, they were welcoming it.

Just 13 or 14 players usually travelled when the team headed overseas, with just a few days before matches got underway.

Devine said the Covid-19 procedures in place were actually a major silver linings for the team.

"Not often do we get to go away on an overseas tour and have two weeks prep leading into our first game. Often it's a week max before we head into that.

"So we're really excited to be able to spend time as a wider group as well, and it's not often that you get 17 players there [as well].

"We're looking forward to the opportunity just to get together and to really start working on those combinations."

On top of offering valuable time together, Devine also believed Covid-19 had boosted their chances of finally wrestling the Rose Bowl back.

The Australian women have held the silverware since 1999 and would again be favourites.

Devine, though, said the pandemic had levelled the playing field.

"The great thing about it is we've all sort of been on similar pegging with the lockdown.

"It's been slightly different either side of the Tasman but none of us have played cricket for quite a while so it's a really exciting opportunity for us to go out there and hit the Aussies hard.

The three-match T20 series was scheduled to be played on September 26, 27 and 30, with the one-day games set down for October 3, 5 and 7.