White Ferns veteran Suzie Bates says the lure of a home Cricket World Cup in 2022 will help motivate her as she faces up to nine months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
The 33-year-old is waiting out two weeks in an isolation hotel in Auckland after returning from Australia when surgery became inevitable.
Bates originally injured her shoulder when she fell awkwardly diving for a ball in the outfield playing for the White Ferns in their Rose Bowl series against Australia in Brisbane at the start of October.
She took more than a month off to rest the injury before returning to play for the Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL in Sydney.
But she had to leave the field in her return match after throwing the ball in the outfield caused her pain.
"It was just an unfortunate dive where I landed. They call it the try scoring injury because rugby players tend to do it and I just go for a ball and landed on it awkwardly. Then I thought I was going to be able to rehab it without surgery and took one throw and obviously it wasn't right so just a shame I've hurt it twice in such a close space of time," Bates said.
Bates has been told that she needs major work on two parts of her right shoulder, the rotator cuff and the HAGL (Humeral Avulsion Glenohumeral Ligament).
"It's not great news but I have got an appointment to get it fixed on the 14th of December and they're sort of saying it's going to be six to nine months out at this stage. Fortunately for me the postponed World Cup has been moved to 2022 so that gives me a chance to get myself fighting fit for that."
The women's 50-over Cricket World Cup was scheduled to be held in New Zealand in February-March next year but had to be postponed as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bates told RNZ's Extra Time that the serious injury is new territory for her.
"I'm not sure how I'm going to cope, I don't think I've missed the game from injury since I started so it's been a different experience.
"Trying to find ways to keep busy and help out with the Otago Sparks I think once I get my shoulder fixed and I think having a home world cup to prepare for is going to help with the motivation through that long stint especially at my age."
There was some concern that Bates might struggle to bowl again but the all-rounder said she's been told throwing will be the hardest part.
"I think the batting is going to be fine, and bowling they think just with the mechanism and how it works [will be ok]. Actually throwing at a distance is probably the last thing to come back, so maybe I'll start practising left handed," laughed Bates.
Bates is currently in an isolation hotel in Auckland with fellow White Ferns' Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, and Rosemary Mair, who have finished their WBBL seasons.
Bates said they were lucky they were together.
"We were given the heads up that if you sort of travel as if you are a bubble or a family you can check in together and then you can hang out in that bubble while you're here so we made sure that we stuck together.
"The exercise bit is probably the only thing [that's challenging]. We get a bus every second day to a little park where we've got a pen we can walk around for an hour."
New Zealand's Ministry of Health has given the entire Pakistan men's touring party a final warning after some of them breached isolation conditions at their quarantine hotel in Christchurch. Six of the team have now tested positive for Covid-19.
Earlier this month the touring West Indies men's cricket team also got in trouble for breaching managed isolation rules.
Bates said they had been living a bubble-hub life since September when they went to Australia for the Rose Bowl series.
"We were put in quarantine. Then we went to WBBL bubble life where we were under strict rules in a hotel altogether. We just wanted to play and maybe we are more scared of the governing bodies than the men are but you just got on with it because you knew if you wanted to play that's the rules and if anyone got Covid it would ruin the whole competition.
"I think we just knew that if something went wrong that we would jeopardise any competition we were playing in."
Plans are underway for the White Ferns to have a series against England and Australia at the end of this summer.