NZC

The stars off the New Zealand women s game will be in action from this Friday afternoon as the 2016/17 national domestic Twenty20 and One-Day competitions get underway around the country.

After a six-nil series sweep of Pakistan, all of the WHITE FERNS have returned to their domestic teams to do battle in what should be the most competitive season yet.

Fresh off becoming the first woman to score three consecutive ODI hundreds, co-captain Amy Satterthwaite s Canterbury Magicians open their Twenty20 title defence against the talented Wellington Blaze at the Basin Reserve from 3pm this Friday afternoon.

The opening round of T20 is then followed by back-to-back One-Dayers in the sister competition on Saturday and Sunday.

The women from the capital have a new coach in WHITE FERNS batting coach and former BLACKCAP Matt Bell, and feature 16-year-old leg-spinning star Amelia Kerr along with the class of fellow internationals Sophie Devine, Rachel Priest and Liz Perry.

A new face in the squad for the 2016/17 season is England international Fran Wilson. After a five-year international absence, Wilson returned to for England this year and immediately hit a match-winning 43* in a T20 International against Pakistan.

Satterthwaite s T20 champions also have their fair share of talent with pace bowlers Lea Tahuhu and Thamsyn Newton back, along with leg-spinner Erin Bermingham and new recruit Kate Broadmore (ex-Central Hinds and WHITE FERNS). Frances Mackay will co-lead the team.

We ve again got a really strong and exciting squad, but so it seems do most of the other sides, Satterthwaite said.

“The One-Dayers tend to favour our team, but we ve got a consistent spread across the group which means everyone chips in. So we re looking forward to both formats with the ultimate challenge to win both.

Every year it s getting closer and closer and anyone can win on their day. There s plenty of banter and rivalry between the players, so it should be lots of fun. There are pretty quick turnarounds between games, and you re switching formats so you ve got to be on your game.

At Cobham Oval in Whangarei, the Emily Drumm-coached Northern Spirit takes on back-to-back defending One-Day champions the Auckland Hearts.

Spirit has acquired a few new players, while the Hearts will again shape as a team to beat, boasting the likes Holly Huddleston, Katie Perkins, Sara McGlashan and captain Victoria Lind.

In New Plymouth, the Central Hinds will face Suzie Bates and her star-studded Otago Sparks. Off-spinner Leigh Kasperek was initially named in the Sparks squad for the opening weekend after having recovered from a broken spinning finger that kept her out of the WHITE FERNS’ contests against South Africa and Pakistan, but has since been ruled out with an Achilles’ niggle.

The Warren Lees-coached Sparks do have the services, however, of current England international Beth Langston, a former teammate of Kasperek s at Essex; as well as multi-talented 22-year-old Shebani Bhaskar, a USA representative, leg-spinner and wicketkeeper-batsman who has recently moved to Dunedin to further her cricket career.

The teams will play five rounds of T20 and 10 rounds of the One-Day competition before a Finals weekend on 11-12 February 2017.

At Pukekura Park, New Plymouth: Central Hinds v Otago Sparks

3pm Friday, 25 November: Women’s Twenty20 round one

10.30am Saturday 26 November: Women’s One-Day round one

10am Sunday 27 November: Women’s One-Day round two

At Basin Reserve, Wellington: Wellington Blaze v Canterbury Magicians

3pm Friday, 25 November: Women’s Twenty20 round one

10.30am Saturday 26 November: Women’s One-Day round one

10am Sunday 27 November: Women’s One-Day round two

At Cobham Oval, Whangarei: Northern Spirit v Auckland Hearts

3pm Friday, 25 November: Women’s Twenty20 round one

10.30am Saturday 26 November: Women’s One-Day round one

10am Sunday 27 November: Women’s One-Day round two