Sophie Devine suffering from fatigue, late call on availability for T20 decider

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Coach Bob Carter said “cricket must come second” to the importance of Devine’s health

New Zealand will make a late decision on the availability of captain Sophie Devine for the T20I decider against Australia after she withdrew from the game in Napier suffering from fatigue at the end of a long season.

Ahead of yesterday’s game it was announced Devine would not be playing due to waking up feeling ill and in a statement on Wednesday NZC said Devine did not think “she could do justice to the team or herself”. Amy Satterthwaite took over the captaincy in a contest New Zealand won off the last ball to level the series.

Devine has been playing regular cricket since the end of September when New Zealand toured Australia for T20Is and ODIs. That was followed by the WBBL with Perth Scorchers before returning home for the New Zealand domestic season – which involved two weeks in managed isolation – then this visit by Australia.

“After an extensive season that started back in September 2020, Sophie will look at how she can best balance her cricket commitments with the need to rest and recover over the coming days,” an NZC statement said.

New Zealand coach Bob Carter added: “Simply put, at times like this we always need to focus on what our people need to be at their best and cricket must come second.”

“She’s traveling with the side to Auckland and we won’t be making any decisions on her availability for the third T20 until late in the piece.”

Devine’s last seven international scores against England and Australia have been 16, 6, 15, 2, 8, 0 and 17 although between the two series she struck 97 and 74 on return to domestic action for Wellington. Her form for New Zealand was enough for Kirsty Bond, the former player and selector, to suggest it could be time for a change of captaincy.

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