She's a six hitting star of world cricket, and now Sophie Devine will also lead the White Ferns as they attempt to win the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
The 30-year-old Wellingtonian, who played international hockey before concentrating on cricket, knew from a young age that she wanted to play sport – any sport – for New Zealand.
As women's cricket grabs more of a spotlight, Devine has become its favourite headline.
The feats keep coming for Devine. This includes hitting five sixes in one over for the Adelaide Strikers during a game in the Australian Big Bash, in a season in which she dominated the league's player-of-the-year race.
Playing for New Zealand is where her heart lies, and Devine is confident the White Ferns will make a huge bid for the T20 World Cup and lift the game's profile even further.
She chatted to the Herald during the White Ferns' preparation for ODIs and T20 matches against South Africa.
Did you covet the captaincy?
I've played under some special leaders and I didn't covet the New Zealand captaincy, I was more than happy to follow their lead. Amy Satterthwaite has given birth to a little girl so this opened up the captaincy and yes, I then put my hand up. Everything is amplified at the international level, including what happens off the field like media stuff. You have to figure it out as you go along.
Do the White Ferns have the same level of analysis to work from as the Black Caps?
Absolutely. We work alongside the Black Caps as well, use trends they find. There is no place to hide anymore. Amy was very good at the scouting - looking at footage, picking up cues. There will certainly be more for me to take on board as captain.
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Can the analysis prove misleading?
In the women's Big Bash this season, (South Africa's) Marizanne Kapp suddenly started playing little lap shots, scoops, paddles. She had always been a very traditional batter, very strong and straight. You can watch all the footage you like but it might be three, six or 12 months old. I know in my case I've added new skills. Players and the game keep evolving.
Where did cricket start for you?
I was raised in Tawa and I used to go along and watch my dad (Peter) play, hang out with all his old mates, try on their gear, pick up their bats, and always ask for throw downs. I was pretty young, six or seven. He was a club player and coached me right through to high school age. One of my brothers also played - he was a really good leg spin bowler - and I always wanted to do what he was doing.
Our front yard was called Devine Oval. Somehow we acquired a concrete roller from a school and rolled our own pitch, marked out our crease with chalk…we spent many hours there with other kids from the neighbourhood.
People talk about how their game developed from when they were younger…because of the way our front yard was shaped, and there was a clear section next door, I always hit it straight because you could run plenty while the fielders chased the ball. That's probably why I like hitting straight to this day.
Suzie Bates is the same. Where she grew up, they had a little L-shaped laneway, and she had to late cut behind point and that is certainly a strength of her game.
Could you have imagined making a living from the game all those years ago?
I always wanted to be an All Black. I didn't realise it was only for the males, and I didn't play rugby either. I knew I wanted to play sport for New Zealand – I didn't care what sport.
I played just about everything through school – cricket, hockey, basketball, volleyball, netball and soccer – anything to get outside and have a good run around. I didn't necessarily know it was a career option.
What is the best you have ever felt, out in the middle?
We were playing the Auckland Hearts at the Basin Reserve a few years ago and they posted 180, which was a big score for women's T20 at the time. I got out there early and was just in the zone. It doesn't happen like that too often. Something switched that day.
At the time you are almost not thinking anything. You strive to feel like that all the time…almost a state of not thinking anything. I was so relaxed yet focused. It was the best feeling.
Who are the quickest and trickiest bowlers?
White Fern Lea Tahuhu is up there – she has been clocked at close to 127kph and is constantly above 120. Shabnim Ismail who is here with South Africa is very quick for a slight small female.
Tayla Vlaeminck is relatively new in the Australian set-up, a right arm quick bowler with arms that go everywhere. I'm not sure she knows where it is going at times – if they don't know, you don't either.
If you weren't a professional sportsperson…
Teaching is something I've always been interested in. I've never had to sit behind a desk nine to five and work in the real world. A few of the players are still working, like Katie Perkins who is in the police. We encourage players to have something on the outside because it can be a pretty brutal game if that's all you are about. I have a degree in sociology – it's nice to have that behind me although I'm not sure I'll use it.
The White Ferns have not played tests for a long time. Would you like to play that form of the game?
Absolutely, 100 per cent. That has been spoken about by all of the White Ferns teams I've been in. Katey Martin is the only current player who has played in a test which was in 2004, New Zealand's last test match.
Every cricketer dreams and aspires to play tests for their country, to test your skills over four days in the case of the women. All the women feel the same way I do about it and we've spoken to New Zealand Cricket. I'd give up two one-dayers to play a test match in each series but it's probably not going to happen because of the way T20 has taken over.
Does the history of the game interest you?
It is so important we respect and honour the women cricketers who helped lay the platform for what we have.
I've had a bit of contact with Trish McKelvey, who is an absolute legend. She's done everything – coach, manager, player, selector. It is humbling to hear her. She told me it took eight weeks on a boat to get to England for a tour…they had to sew their own blazers, take their own jackets. An overseas tour would take three months – we complain about flying for a day.
Black Caps bowler Hamish Bennett reckons you could play in the men's game…
That's a funny one because I played boys cricket. I was in the Tawa first XI when I was 15 and 16 and played in the under-14 boys representative team as a medium pace bowler. I had to get a special dispensation to play – my parents fought really hard and Tawa College was really supportive although I was oblivious to the fuss at the time.
I played alongside guys like (future Wellington/Canterbury cricketer) Michael Pollard. The support of the boys around me was fantastic.
If girls are good enough, they should be able to play in boys teams, absolutely, if they want to. It was massive in terms of my development.
Playing in men's cricket, maybe club games, is a conversation which has gone on in the background but there's not much point in me facing a bowler who comes at 150 clicks because I'm never going to face that in the women's game.
What have the White Ferns been working on?
We've had a big winter focusing on skills to elevate our game – throwing the ball further, faster, harder, flatter, hitting the ball harder, bowling faster. They are things people take for granted in men's cricket but we're in the gym more these days, getting stronger. It is all helping the game move on, making it a better spectacle.
Are the White Ferns on track for the World Cup?
We've had a fantastic build-up which includes having seven players in Australia's Big Bash competition. I'm not sure many other countries will go into the tournament with the volume of T20 cricket we've had.
I think we have a little edge with that, at the end of our summer. England are coming off their winter. South Africa haven't had too many opportunities. We've got a fantastic draw and take on the Aussies in the last pool game. That's a game we are targeting.
South Africa have explosive players and I think they are the World Cup dark horse so these games are an ideal build-up for us. It will be a blockbuster series.
We are fully aware that when you are winning, people pay more attention. Winning the World Cup is a huge goal for everyone in this team.