Anlo van Deventer batting for the Central Hinds. PHOTO/FILE

JAKE BELESKI

jake.beleski@age.co.nz

Domestic rivalries will be replaced by Caribbean flair when Central Hinds captain Anlo van Deventer takes the field for a New Zealand XI cricket team in Christchurch on Monday week.

Auckland-based van Deventer — a former St Matthew’s Collegiate student — will get her first taste of international-level cricket after being named in the team to take on the West Indies as they prepare for their series with the White Ferns.

Van Deventer was under no illusions as to how challenging the step up would be, but excitement was the overriding emotion.

“It’s my first occasion being picked for such a team so it’s really exciting,” she said.

“I was called this week by Haidee Tiffen, the White Ferns coach, and she explained the news to me . . . it’s not something you expect to happen every day so it was really, really cool.”

Domestic players were only informed of the New Zealand XI opportunity a couple of weeks ago, so it was not something they had been working towards throughout the season.

But the team is likely to provide a pathway to the highest level of the game for those who make the most of the opportunity.

“To get a call was a bit of a shock, but it’s really exciting and an awesome prospect for women’s cricket in New Zealand,” van Deventer said.

“I’m definitely expecting a bit of a jump up — there’s probably quite a gap between domestic level and international, but it’s exactly what we need to get better as players.”

Fellow Hinds players, Jess Watkin and Rosemary Mair, will join van Deventer in the squad, and that was a reflection of the work they had put in over the domestic season, she said.

“It’s awesome to see some of the younger players getting rewarded for all the hard work they’ve put in as well.

“It does show the depth that is coming through CD cricket at the moment.”

Van Deventer admits she is her own harshest critic, but that provided the motivation to work hard and keep improving.

The Hinds season had been about rebuilding after the retirements of several senior players last year, but they had progressed nicely throughout the season, she said.

“It’s been a bit of a developing season for the Hinds as well — we had four senior players retire last season, so to rebuild from that was definitely a bit of a struggle.”

The 50-over match against the West Indies will no doubt present different challenges — both mentally and physically — to what she has endured as Hinds captain, but it was something she was looking forward to.

“Facing that next level up is always exciting, and I think it will be a really good experience for a lot of the girls to see where we need to be to get to that next level.”