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Lauren Down, Rosemary Mair earn first national contracts

ANI | Updated: Sep 26, 2019 20:45 IST

Christchurch [New Zealand], Sept 26 (ANI): New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Thursday announced the women's contracts for the 2019-20 season, giving batswoman Lauren Down and pacer Rosemary Mair their first national contracts.
The 17-member contract list also features a return of wicket-keeper-batswoman Rachel Priest and Anna Peterson, who bring over 200 international caps of experience between them.

Down, who recently toured with the women's team, also known as White Ferns, to Australia earlier this year is relishing the chance to focus on her cricket full time.

"I'm thrilled to be offered a contract for the upcoming season. The experience I've already had with the White Ferns has been great and I'm looking forward to spending more time in the environment," Down said.

"It's a great chance to develop my cricket and I'll be working hard throughout the season and looking to take any opportunities that come my way," he added.

According to 20-year-old pace bowler Mair, her first national contract brings with it a chance to develop her bowling.

"I want to bowl fast, so my training will be centred around that and working with bowling coach Jacob Oram to get the best out of my action," Mair said.

"I'm excited for what's ahead and this contract gives me the resources and time to really commit and focus my energy on cricket," she added.

White Ferns coach Bob Carter said he was looking forward to working with the team and making improvements wherever he can.

"It's great to be involved with the team and see who will put their hand up and demand selection over the coming months," Carter said.

"It's a big few months ahead as we look forward to the South Africa series here in New Zealand, then the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia next year," he added.

Carter also thinks the blend of youth and experience within the squad will create a healthy competition for places in the starting XI.

"Competition within a team is most certainly a positive for the environment. It's natural when you have professional athletes wanting to improve and play for their country. The new Master Agreement gives us coaches more face-to-face time with players which can only serve to improve skills and create a positive team culture," Carter said.

Head of high performance, Bryan Stronach, said he is already seeing the benefits of offering an additional two contracts to White Ferns players this season.

"This is all part of our commitment to our high-performance teams and giving them the best chance to perform and compete at the highest international level," Stronach said.
White Ferns contract list is as follows:
Suzie Bates
Bernadine Bezuidenhout
Sophie Devine
Lauren Down
Maddy Green
Holly Huddleston
Hayley Jensen
Leigh Kasperek
Amelia Kerr
Rosemary Mair
Katey Martin
Katie Perkins
Anna Peterson
Rachel Priest
Hannah Rowe
Amy Satterthwaite
Lea Tahuhu
The White Ferns are currently at a winter training camp at the NZC high-performance centre in Lincoln which will conclude on October 2. (ANI)