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Hansen targets World Cup glory

Melissa Hansen batting against Australia in the 2016 trans-Tasman indoor cricket series. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Jake Beleski

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It may not be cricket season just yet, but Wairarapa Korus representative Melissa Hansen is still preparing for a cricket World Cup.

Hansen will head to Dubai next month to play for the New Zealand women’s team at the Indoor Cricket World Cup.

She was a member of the under-20 team which contested the last World Cup in New Zealand in 2014, and said playing for the women’s team would be “a bit of a step up”.

“In 2014, it was pretty cool to play in a World Cup, because I’d only just started playing.

“I’m only 21 so I could still have been in the 21 and under team — I put my name down for both but the women’s team was the first priority.”

It won’t be Hansen’s first taste of top-level international competition, after she represented the New Zealand women’s side in the trans-Tasman series last year.

Australia are world champions in both men’s and women’s competition, and Hansen said it would be a tough challenge to try and knock them over.

“They haven’t lost in about seven years.

“In Australia the two sports are run together, whereas in New Zealand the two are completely separate . . . there’s a lot more funding in Australia and obviously they’re a massive area.”

Hansen said she had no preference when asked if she enjoys outdoor or indoor cricket more, and highlighted the importance of both to her career.

She gets to travel the country representing both Wairarapa and the Central Hinds in summer, and the indoor version enables her to stay in a rhythm throughout the winter months.

Playing the indoor game meant you had to be able to perform all the basic skills at a high level, she said.

“In indoor I see myself as more of a bowler, but game to game it changes.

“Bowling is definitely one of my strengths in that team.”

The tournament in Dubai will run for a week, and will include the four mainstays of the competition — New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa.

Hansen said she had received plenty of support from different parties to help fundraise the money needed to get to Dubai, but still had a “wee way to go”.

Once the World Cup is completed, Hansen will be turning her attention to contributing to the Wairarapa Korus in their upcoming season.

Anybody wishing to donate to her cause can do so before August 18, at givealittle.co.nz/cause/helpmelissawinaworldcup.

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