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Bates takes New Zealand reins

Suzie Bates

New Zealand head into January's limited-overs tour of Australia with a new captain after the appointment of all-rounder Suzie Bates

New Zealand women have appointed Suzie Bates as their new captain, replacing Aimee Watkins who retired from all forms of cricket in July.

The all-rounder will start her reign as skipper with a limited-overs tour of Australia in the new year, which includes five Twenty20 and three one-day internationals, before returning home to face England during February and March.

The 24-year-old also has a talent for Basketball and was part of the New Zealand team taking part in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, but has clearly stated cricket will now be her main focus.

"I knew there was a chance of leading this team but there are obviously other players who had the skills to do it,” she told the New Zealand Herald.

"So I'm pretty excited to have been given the opportunity. I've been balancing the two [sports] for the last eight years and I've been very fortunate to be able to have done both.

“Captaining New Zealand in cricket is something that is not easy to turn down and it does mean that basketball's in the backseat but I still love both games and, at the moment, the cricket's at the forefront and I'm still committed to that.

“But it doesn't mean basketball won't still get a chance later down the track.”

New Zealand coach Gary Stead added: "Suzie thinks a lot about the game and is quick to offer tactical input during meetings and out on the field.

“She is a natural leader who has had a positive influence on the younger members of the squad over the past few years and is someone other players look up to.

“That's important with the current squad as we go through a rebuilding phase."