Cricket: NZ Cricket players association eager to develop Super Smash talent for next generation of White Ferns

"You can't improve, unless you play."

That's the call from the NZ Cricket Players Association, which is asking for more matches for players knocking on the door of the White Ferns. 

The conclusion of the Super Smash last week leaves most of this country's top women with just a month's more cricket this summer.

"Makes me feel like a dinosaur," Canterbury captain Frankie McKay told Newshub. "We have so many talented teenagers around, we just want to provide them with good quality cricket."   

Xara Jetly in action for Wellington.
Xara Jetly in action for Wellington. Photo credit: Photosport

Quality isn't the main issue - quantity has proved the sticking point. 

"The missing piece is the number of games that the players play at the domestic level," said players association boss Heath Mills. "They play 20 games a year." 

Although the Whites Ferns will go on to play many more, the association is looking to provide more opportunities for the level beneath them.

"More winter programmes for the next best group of players, but also improving the north and south competition that we have, and hopefully more NZ 'A' type matches," Mills added. 

That's exactly the solution New Zealand Cricket is implementing, adding an extra 18 games internationally and domestically for this year. 

 "We're in discussions with other nations around 'A' tours, U19 tours and emerging tours," said NZC head of women's high performance Liz Green. "For us, that's really important."   

Once the experienced White Ferns step aside, their replacements need to be ready to step up, says Green.

"The exposure they're getting between domestic and international, and playing other nations is only going to help their development," added Green. 

From the talent seen in action at the Super Smash, New Zealand has plenty of players with the potential to one day wear the white jersey.

"It's all there," said McKay. "The talent is there, the ability is there and I just think the world is their oyster for some of these kids coming through."