Cricket World Cup: Wicketkeeper Bernadine Bezuidenhout recalled to White Ferns for T20 tournament

Wicketkeeper Bernadine Bezuidenhout has earned a recall to the White Ferns for next month's T20 World Cup in South Africa.

The former South African international has recently returned fro two years on the sidelines, dealing with RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport), which affects many female athletes.

"For the past 7-8 months, we’ve been looking to establish a brand of cricket that we believe spectators will enjoy and, at the same time, gives us the best possible chance of success in major tournaments, said coach Ben Sawyer.

“With both the bat in hand and her work behind the stumps, we believe Bernie will contribute positively to that style of play.

"Bernie has already shown this season what she can do with both bat and gloves, and we think her previous international experience will stand her in good stead in this World Cup."

Importantly, she will also provide insight into South African conditions, after playing for the national team across 29 white-ball matches in 2014-15, then moving to Christchurch, where she served a three-year stand down period, before debuting for New Zealand.

Bezuidenhout, 29, last turned out for the White Ferns in a one-dayer against South Africa at Auckland in 2020.

The Ferns have cast their net wide in search of a wicketkeeper, since veteran Katey Martin ended her 19-year international career at the conclusion of last year's World Cup one-day event in New Zealand and Australia.

Specialist batter Maddy Green was thrust into the role against Bangladesh last month, after specialist Jess McFadyen - named for her national team debut - fell ill on the eve of the series.

Otherwise, the squad has a very settled look, with only spinner Eden Carson and seam bowler Molly Penfold making their World Cup debuts.

Captain Sophie Devine in action for the White Ferns
Captain Sophie Devine in action for the White Ferns. Photo credit: Photosport

"We're really happy with how the side is shaping up heading into this World Cup," he said. "World Cups are always an exciting occasion for any player, especially for those players in our squad who are attending their first. 

"We speak a lot about roles and match-ups in our side, and I believe that we have a lot of quality options to cover all that will be thrown up against us in South Africa.

"I've also been pleased with the way the squad have been performing for their teams in the Super Smash and we’re now looking for them to transfer that form on the ground in South Africa."

White Ferns to T20 World Cup: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Bernadine Bezuidenhout (wk), Eden Carson, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu