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Maiden Cricket Match For Police Women

The first ever New Zealand Police Women’s Cricket First XI are set to play three one-day games in Christchurch from Monday next week.

They will face a New Zealand Under-19 squad at the Burnside Park Grounds.

The police team was meant to play an inter-services competition last year with Army, Airforce and Navy but it was cancelled due to Covid. Also struggling due to Covid lock-down, the NZ Under-19 women’s team had missed out on their World Cup in Bangladesh.

Looking tidy in a brand-new black uniform standardised with the men, the Police squad have an opportunity to show that fielding sport and policing careers is possible in the world of cricket too.

Former New Zealand Women's Cricket Captain, Detective Senior Sergeant Sarah Illingworth will present the caps on Monday before play begins.

Playing for the police is Constable Wheturangi Campbell, current Wellington Blaze and front-line constable since December 2019. She says “As soon as the opportunity came up to play for the inaugural New Zealand Police women’s team I leapt at the opportunity.

I’ve played cricket since I was 4 years old and spent most my 'professional career' as a specialist ‘12th man’ playing for the Blaze.

Technically I was a right arm medium/fast, now slow, bowler and right-hand dirty slog with the bat.

We’ve been extremely fortunate to have this put on for us and I think it will be a great show of the young up-and-coming talent that New Zealand Women’s cricket has to offer, fingers crossed those of us with the more mature bodies will be able to keep up.”

Charne Nel is coming out of retirement to play the matches. Nel, a former provincial cricketer in South Africa and club player in the Waikato is currently working in a non-constablulary role at Police National Headquarters.

“Cricket has always been a great blend of social activity and friendly competition for me.

She recalls her humble backyard beginnings … “with the bat facing an older brother emulating the great Dale Steyn on a home-made pitch with a tree for the wickets and two dogs as fielders.” Nel is also on track to join police as a constable one day.

Retired police officer of 33 years and international umpire David Quested, will be umpiring the games next week.

The former Detective Sergeant played police cricket from 1970 until 1985.

“I was delighted to be asked to officiate in these fixtures for the NZ Police Women's team, I have always supported the women's game.

My first international (Women’s) was New Zealand v Australia ODI in 1989, it was televised live from Lancaster Park and my colleague was Patricia Garrick"

The NZ U19 Women’s side will be coached by High Performance Sport New Zealand Residency Coach, Kari Carswell.

“I’m excited to get into camp with the squad and help develop their cricket skills,” said Carswell.

Head of Women’s High Performance at New Zealand Cricket, Ant Sharp said, “This is a great opportunity for our young, female cricketers to shine on a bigger stage.”

© Scoop Media

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