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Cricket: Suzie Bates named Wisden's Leading Women's Cricketer of the World

The 2016 edition of the sport's longest surviving annual concluded Suzie Bates' all-round performances last year warranted their top accolade. Photo / AP
The 2016 edition of the sport's longest surviving annual concluded Suzie Bates' all-round performances last year warranted their top accolade. Photo / AP

New Zealand captain Suzie Bates' cricketing pedigree has been recognised at the highest level as Wisden's Leading Women's Cricketer of the World.

The 2016 edition of the sport's longest surviving annual concluded Bates' all-round performances last year warranted their top accolade.

The publication stated: "Bates spent 2015 consolidating her status as one of the power hitters of the women's game, not least when scoring 258 during the 5-0 one-day whitewash of Sri Lanka. But the highlight was her sixth one-day century, made in the victory over England in February."

Editor Lawrence Booth commented: "It needed something special to deny both [Australians] Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry this award, and Bates' all-round performances were precisely that."

Lanning was the award's inaugural recipient last year.

Bates has led the White Ferns in 45 of her 84 ODIs and 46 of her 83 T20s after permanently taking the role in 2012.

She debuted in 2006 and worked around basketball commitments with the Tall Ferns, including selection for the Beijing Olympics.

The 28-year-old's attacking style makes her a pioneer for the women's game as it strides towards professionalism.

That has never more prevalent than last summer when the Australian women's Big Bash League delivered record viewing audiences on Channel 10. Bates, who played for the Perth Scorchers, was one of seven New Zealanders on contracts estimated to be worth between A$3000 ($3300) and A$10,000 ($11,000).

Top women's cricketers also face work opportunities in England this year with the launch of the six-franchise Super League.

Add 10 New Zealand Cricket contracts worth $10,000 - plus match fees - and an income stream takes shape.

Regardless of income, Bates told the Otago Daily Times in 2013 she had one ambition before she exits the game.

"I come and watch first-class games at [Dunedin's] University Oval and all I can think is how good it would be to be able to bat for as long as you want. I would love to have even one test a year."

The New Zealand women last played a test in 2004. If Bates' reputation keeps building, her voice may be heard.

Suzie Bates in 2015



ODIs:

• Averaged 48.75 from 14 innings at a strike rate of 81, and took 13 wickets at 21 with an economy rate of 3.74.

T20s:

• Averaged 26 from seven innings at a strike rate of 108, and took three wickets at 33.66 with an economy rate of 6.31.

- NZ Herald

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