“It’s an unbelievable achievement for a small district; we’re just proud.”
That’s the reaction from Wairarapa Cricket general manager and Wairarapa Korus coach Simon Roseingrave to the selection of four players in the inaugural Aotearoa Māori Wahine team.
Georgia Atkinson, Ocean Bartlett, Olivia Clark, and Macy Lyford have been named in the squad to play in the Pacific Cup in Auckland next week, and Roseingrave said, “To have four players from a small district like this is a remarkable achievement and when NZ Cricket rang us to let us know they mentioned that themselves.
“I think it’s really fantastic recognition for the district’s female cricket and fantastic recognition for the players themselves in terms of everything they put into it, and their whānau and support.”
In recent years, Wairarapa has had several players make the Māori secondary schoolgirls side, but Roseingrave said making the next step is above and beyond.
Some of the games will be televised on TVNZ+, but with a big squad because of Super Smash players coming in and out of the squad, depending on their commitments, Roseingrave was not quite sure which fixtures the four players will take the field in.
Three of the players – Bartlett, Clark, and Lyford – will be in action tomorrow when Southey Sayer Wairarapa Korus resume their Shrimpton Cup campaign with a clash against Taranaki at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval, while Atkinson will front for the Central Hinds today in a vital Super Smash match against the Wellington Blaze.
The Taranaki fixture was originally scheduled as the second of a doubleheader, but today’s game with Manawatū has been deferred because of a bereavement.
Atkinson and Emma McLeod, who is also with the Hinds, are the two significant absences for the Korus, but Roseingrave has still named a strong side and is confident of a good result.
“We’ve got some good experience, and we’re probably slightly more experienced than I was thinking for this time of the year, and we’re lucky that we’ve got a couple of very experienced Hinds players in Ocean [Bartlett] and Mel [Hansen],” he said.
“We’ve got a solid squad of eight players who played a lot of cricket for the senior women and a couple of the younger ones like Sally Booth and Jess Monk, who have now had a couple of seasons, and when you tag in the promise of Maddy Brown and the debutants Dina Morrison and Fran Wells bring I think we’re putting a good team on the field.”
The match is part of a festival of women’s cricket within Masterton, with six teams playing in the town over the weekend.
Hawke’s Bay will play Nelson at the Oval today and at the Rathkeale Oval tomorrow, while Taranaki will play Marlborough today at the Rathkeale Oval, and Marlborough will take on Manawatū on Rathkeale No. 1 tomorrow.
Today’s games start at 11 am, and tomorrow’s get underway at 10.30 am.
Roseingrave is thrilled to host the other teams and hopes to make it an annual event.
“We want to put on a bit of a show, too, because it’s something we want to make part of the calendar if we can. It’s good for the town, good for the cricket.”
to play Taranaki
Ocean Bartlett [captain], Sally Booth, Maddy Brown, Olivia Clark, Elizabeth Cohr, Melissa Hansen, Macy Lyford, Jess Monk, Dina Morrison, Olivia Roseingrave, Vanessa Taylor, Fran Wells.