Cricket: White Ferns great Suzie Bates eyes chance to represent New Zealand in second Olympic sport

  • 05/12/2023
Suzie Bates.
Suzie Bates. Photo credit: Getty Images

White Ferns great Suzie Bates admits the impending return of cricket at the LA Games in 2028 may lure her back for another shot at the Olympics.

Twenty20 cricket is among a host of sports being added for the Games in the United States, which also includes flag football, lacrosse, baseball and softball.

Bates represented New Zealand as a basketballer at the Beijing Games in 2008 and says the opportunity to add another accolade to her remarkable sporting CV may be enough to ensure the 36-year-old sticks around.

"I think I was like, 'How old will I be’?" Bates said of her reaction when cricket's return was announced.

Suzie Bates.
Suzie Bates. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Maybe I don't need to say that out loud, but it did cross my mind."

At last year's Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Bates was one of the key factors in helping the White Ferns to the semi-final where they were beaten by eventual gold medallists Australia, before clinching the bronze medal with victory against England.

"I just feel so fortunate that in the sports that I've played, I've been able to go to an Olympics and play at a Commonwealth Games."

"I guess to go to another Olympics for a different sport would be pretty special, but I am definitely not putting any huge aspirations on that yet."

The Dunedin product will be into her 40s when the LA Games roll around but given her consistency over her 16 years at the top of the sport, there's little reason to believe she isn't capable of maintaining her elite level of play for another five years.

Of more immediate concern for Bates is helping the White Ferns bounce back from an underwhelming day's work in their opening Twenty20 international against Pakistan when the teams meet again her hometown on Tuesday, where she'll be acknowledged with the renaming of a stand in her honour.

"I think with how [Sunday] went, the focus is fully on just preparing for the game on [Tuesday] and making sure that we play a lot better than we did," said Bates.