Suzie Bates has resigned as New Zealand captain after six years in the role.
But 30-year-old Bates will continue to play for the White Ferns, saying:
“I still have a lot to contribute to the White Ferns and international cricket and that the best way for me to do that is by concentrating more energy into my performances on the field.”
Bates has led New Zealand at a time of great change, with the professionalisation of the women’s game adding new challenges for the smaller nations, as they try to keep up with the pace set by Australia and England, but without the same resources.
Bates responded by burning the candle at all 3 ends to try to maintain the pace – playing domestic cricket at home in New Zealand and in Australia during the antipodian summer, literally shuttling between the two; then spending her winters in England playing county cricket for Kent and latterly Hampshire, and KSL for Southern Vipers.
It was a schedule that was perhaps starting to take its toll, as she began to look a slightly tired shawdow of her usual self towards the end of this season in England.
Bates will be succeeded as New Zealand captain by Amy Satterthwaite who will take charge for the upcoming T20 series versus Australia.
This is clearly not an appointment for the future – Satterthwaite is a year older than Bates – but she has the experience that New Zealand need right now to keep the seat warm for a couple of years until Amelia Kerr – the only realistic long term candidate – can perhaps take over after the 2021 World Cup.
We chatted about this earlier. She clearly needs a break. Perhaps relinquishing the captaincy will give her that.
I’m not sure, though. Alastair Cook gave it up and though the rest of his career was distinguished or some such, he wasn’t pulling up trees. Mignon du Preez gave it up, as I recall, to focus on her game, but not much came of that either. I hope it goes better for Bates.
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I think Suzie has been has been a victim of overplay over the past few years as mentioned above. Still has talent at the top level, may need to step back a bit from Hampshire and the Vipers to regain her international edge. The last four years have seen her perform brilliantly for Kent and Hampshire on the county circuit, maybe a full time break from this commitment to “freshen up”?