New Zealand women’s cricket has undergone a few changes in the last few days with big names like Amy Satterthwaite and Lea Tahuhu missing from the list of contracted players. While the fans of the White Ferns were still coming to terms with the exclusion of Satterthwaite and Tahuhu, they were subject to another reform.
Ben Sawyer, who worked as an assistant coach with the Australian women’s cricket team has been appointed as the head coach of the New Zealand women’s cricket team, also known as the White Ferns. Sawyer has signed a two-year contract with New Zealand Cricket and will take on the responsibility of the White Ferns as a head coach with immediate effect.
New Zealand was last seen in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup that was played from March 4 to April 3 this year. Though it was a home World Cup for the White Ferns, they failed to make the most of it as they could not qualify for the knock-outs. After a relatively ordinary performance in the World Cup, major changes in the squad and management were likely to happen.
Ben Sawyer is the new Head Coach of White Ferns.#CricketTwitter pic.twitter.com/Hx9MofeTx1
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) June 6, 2022
With Sawyer coming in as the head coach, there will be new energy in the camp. His first assignment will be the Commonwealth Games that will be played in Birmingham from July 29 to August 7. After the Commonwealth Games, the White Ferns will tour the West Indies. Sawyer said, “I can’t wait to get stuck in. I see a lot of potential in this White Ferns group and I feel really optimistic about helping to untap that potential, so they can take their cricket to the next level. It’s certainly going to be a learning process as I get to know the players and they get to know me, and my cricket philosophies and coaching style.”
White Ferns’ captain Sophie Devine is also excited to work with Sawyer, who has been a part of the successful Australian side. During his tenure as the assistant coach of the Australian women’s team, Australia won two ICC Women’s T20 World Cups, one ICC Women’s World Cup and one Ashes series in England. Sawyer was appointed as the assistant coach prior to the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20.
With Sawyer coming into the New Zealand settings, Devine said, “We’re really looking forward to working with Ben and receiving the benefit of his experience. He’s been a key figure in the ongoing success of the Australian women’s team and we hope we can tap into that bank of experience and grow together as a team. The upcoming Commonwealth Games campaign in Birmingham and the tour to the West Indies will be really helpful in that regard – there’s nothing like away tours for bringing a group together and sharing a common purpose.”
Apart from being the assistant coach of Australian women’s cricket team, Sawyer has worked as the head coach of Sydney Sixers in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) from 2015 to 2021 and Birmingham Phoenix in the Women’s Hundred in England in 2021.
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I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.