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November 17, 2023 11:45 AM

Published by Cricket Wellington

The Spotlight Reporting Wellington Blaze start their 2023/24 summer this weekend with the first two rounds of their Hallyburton Johnstone Shield defense.

The trophy returned to Wellington at the end of last year for the first time since 2003/4 when the honours were shared after a washed out final. The Blaze currently hold the title as champions outright for the first time since 1990.

In a busy off-season, the roster saw some veteran players leaving along with an influx of new talent.

Two ex-Central Hinds players, Monique Rees and Gemma Sims, have taken contracts with the Wellington Blaze for 2023/24, bringing a new-look to the contract list after the departure of WHITE FERNS Thamsyn Newton (Central Hinds) and Maddy Green (Auckland Hearts).

Phoenix Williams is also included in this weekend’s squad as another recipient of domestic contracts for 2023/24.

WHITE FERN Georgia Plimmer is included in the squad this weekend, while the other three WHITE FERNS-contracted players (Melie Kerr, Jess Kerr, Sophie Devine) are unavailable for selection due to their duties in Australia for the WBBL.

The support staff has also seen some changes for the 2023/24 season, with Luke Woodcock being promoted to Head Coach for the HBJ Shield Campaign. Justine Dunce has also joined the staff as a Support Coach for the Blaze, while Lance Dry will act as Woodcock’s assistant coach after this weekend when Dry’s responsibilities as Interim Firebirds Head Coach ends.

The Wellington Blaze will welcome the Otago Sparks this weekend at the Cello Basin Reserve for Rounds 1 and 2 of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield. Each game is scheduled to begin at 10:30am with free livestreaming and scoring available at NZC’s website and YouTube channel.

Entry to the ground is free, and Cricket Wellington Gold Members will have access to the Longroom in the RA Vance stand.


Leigh Kasperek ©

Nicole Baird

Rebecca Burns

Kate Chandler

Natasha Codyre

Xara Jetly

Caitlin King

Jess McFadyen (wk)

Georgia Plimmer

Monique Rees

Gemma Sims

Phoenix Williams

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