AUCKLAND: New Zealand cricketers Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine and Lea Tahuhu came together to talk about their memories of the 2000 Cricket World Cup final won by New Zealand on home soil. With 200 days left for the women's Cricket World Cup to begin in New Zealand, it is the only trophy won by the White Ferns apart from being runners-up in the 2009 edition.
Suzie recalled fond memories of seeing the final as a 13-year-old juggling cricket and basketball. "I remember it was the first time I'd seen women's cricket on TV. So, I didn't dream of being a Black Cap (anymore). I could now dream of being a White Fern," said Suzie to ICC.
She added, "I remember it going down to the wire and Rebecca Rolls taking a pretty good catch to win it for the first time ever for a New Zealand team and it's still the only World Cup that New Zealand have ever won. It was inspiring for me and it made me want to be like her."
When asked about her memories from the final in Lincoln as an 11-year-old, Sophie said, "The thing I remember most is the crowd flocking onto the pitch after the game finished. It doesn't happen too often anymore. I remember Rebecca Rolls taking the catch -- it stuck just in the webbing. It's pretty special to be able to hopefully replicate that in 2022."
The 33-year-old Suzie is thankful for the year's delay caused to the World Cup due to the pandemic.
"Fortunately for me, it got delayed a year, otherwise I probably would have missed a home World Cup. The fact that it's a 50-over World Cup at home, none of us have ever played at home in a World Cup -- it's been pretty easy to get back up. In saying that, there's some tough times when you're injured as Lea can probably talk about too."
"I guess at my age you doubt how much you've still got left in you but I think getting back amongst the group and all of us heading towards the World Cup has made it a lot easier and that's the end goal. I'm looking forward to finally getting back out on the field in England and working towards that home World Cup," concluded Suzie.
Lea was in agreement about a World Cup at home becoming a big motivation. "I think it's huge. The carrot of being able to play in front of your family and friends right around the country and to inspire a nation -- that's what we're aiming to do -- and being able to win that World Cup. And as Suzie said, being able to have the group behind you and knowing that everyone is pushing for you to get back for that makes the training and the rehab that little bit easier."
The 2022 women's Cricket World Cup will take place from March 4 to April 3 in New Zealand.