Opening night of the inaugural Kia Super League saw Sophie Devine lead the Loughborough Lightning to victory; it’s followed on day two with a double header. The South Vipers take on the Surrey Stars, while the Western Storm play against the Lancashire Thunder.
Captaining the Thunder will be New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite. Not long before she headed off to the UK, Satterthwaite answered a few questions for Mind the Windows about her cricketing career to date.
1. You came into the Canterbury side very young at 16, and made the NZ A and NZ sides at 20. How did you find making the step-up to each of those levels, especially making your international debut against a team that included Rolton, Sthalekar and Fields?
Having been included at camps at those levels before playing I think that helped with the transition. The support of my teammates also helped make it a smoother transition and improved my belief as a player to be able to perform at that level. It was a little daunting to be playing against some of the biggest names in cricket at the time but the more you played against them the more you realised they are just players and you had the ability to compete.
2. The first time you bowled a ball in international cricket, you ended up taking 6-17 (including the wickets of Jenny Gunn and Sarah Taylor) to roll England. Given you’re very much a batsman who can bowl a bit, what went right on that day?
As we’ve seen over the years T20 can be a fickle format and as a result players can achieve some pretty crazy performances. I think it was one of those days where everything seems to go your way. I certainly don’t think I bowled a magical spell by any stretch but having a slightly different action and having never been seen before might have given me a slight advantage. Ultimately however as I said I think it was just one of those days where everything went my way!
3. In 2013, you were dropped from the national side – you’ve said in the past that you came back from this stronger, so what were the changes you made to return to the side a more rounded cricketer?
No one wants to go through being dropped but I do think it gave me a different perspective on things and ultimately it made me relax a bit more and really ensure I was enjoying my cricket. We can’t control the selectors, apart from letting our performances do the talking. So I wanted to not worry about selection and let that take care of itself through performing. It probably made me work a bit harder but it also confirmed the hunger I had to be involved in the New Zealand setup. As players you’re always looking to improve your game so I don’t think that changed too much but it probably made me be a bit smarter about how I go about training when we have relatively limited time to do so.
4. New Zealand’s recent results in tournaments, especially since runners-up results in the 2009 World Cup and 2009 and 2010 World T20s, have been a little disappointing. Looking forward, is bettering those second-place finishes a major goal for you?
Definitely. During the 2009/2010 years we performed extremely well as a group and whilst many of us would look back and think we missed out on our best opportunity to win a World Cup, I still believe we performed extremely well during that period. Since then the scope of women’s cricket has changed a lot with contracts being introduced in different countries and new leagues created around the world. It has shifted the scale a bit in terms of resources but I still believe we have a talented bunch of players that could achieve the ultimate success of winning world cups. Whilst our performances haven’t been where we would like them I think we have made great strides in the last 12-18 months and it’s exciting to see where this team is heading. Being a part of that journey and hopefully contributing towards success is certainly a goal for me.
5. You’ve now played over 150 games for New Zealand, and you’ve made two ODI hundreds, to go with 11 fifties and countless other contributions across formats. What would you name as your favourite performances in a New Zealand shirt?
The third ODI against England last year has to be right up there. England have been one of the top teams in the women’s game over the last few years and beating them 2-1 in the ICC Women’s Championship games was a big achievement for our group at the time. Contributing towards that achievement was certainly a great feeling and I won’t forget the buzz in the changing room after the game!
Scoring my first 100 and especially being against Australia was also a special performance for me but some of the team wins have been the most special.
6. You’ve been involved in the WBBL, and you’re playing in this season of the Kia Super League, so what’s your take on the impact and influence of these competitions (and T20 overall) on the health and advancement of women’s cricket?
As we’ve seen over the past few years, women’s cricket has grown at a rate of knots! The introduction of contracts, the IWC competition and the new leagues has meant increased playing opportunities and the opportunity for cricket to become players’ #1 focus which is awesome! It’s exciting to see the growth in interest from the media and the public around the women’s game and where it’s headed. The new competitions have brought a new element to the women’s game where players are now playing alongside other international players whereas historically they’ve only ever played against them. Women’s cricket is in a very healthy and exciting position at the moment and it’s exciting to see where it will go!