New Zealand captain Sophie Devine is taking a ‘wellbeing break’ after a heavy workload over the last year and will miss the first half of the Super Smash season for Wellington. A decision on her involvement for the remainder of the tournament will be taken later.
“Our players’ mental and physical wellbeing is always our number one priority and it’s clear Sophie simply needs a break,” NZC head of women’s high performance Liz Green said. “2024 is shaping as another big year for the WHITE FERNS with England arriving later in the summer and the ICC T20 World Cup on the horizon.
“Sophie’s understandably disappointed but we’re adamant she needs this break to re-charge her batteries and be well-prepared for the upcoming challenges.”
Devine recently played the home ODIs and T20Is against Pakistan which started four days after she played her last game for Perth Scorchers in the WBBL. This year, Devine has played in 12 T20Is and nine ODIs, apart from featuring in last season’s Super Smash at the start of the year, the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) in March in India, the Hundred in August, the WCPL also in August, before heading to Australia for the WBBL. Her 49 T20s this year are the joint-most along with Hayley Matthews, and she lists just behind Matthews among the top T20 scorers in 2023 so far.
The Women’s Super Smash kicked off on December 19 and Wellington’s first game will be on Thursday against Otago at home. All six teams will play 10 games each in the league stage before the eliminator on January 26 and final on January 28.
New Zealand’s next assignment will be a home T20I series against England starting March 19, but Devine is also expected to fly to India for the second WPL season before that.