WHITE FERNS captain Sophie Devine is set to make her first appearance of the summer on this side of the Tasman.
After the WHITE FERNS' early season tour followed by a blistering WBBL campaign for the Perth Scorchers across November - one that saw Devine score her fifth T20 century, the power-hitting star is back.
She returns to the Wellington Blaze squad to make her first appearance of the Dream11 Super Smash campaign in Dunedin against the Otago Sparks this Thursday.
Devine was the standout player in the Blaze’s perfect T20 season last year, picking up the Dream11 Super Smash Player of the Year award and leading her side to a threepeat title.
“I’m massively excited to be joining the Blaze group again, I love representing Wellington any opportunity I get,” she said.
“I’ve been following the team’s progress really closely and have been impressed by their performances so far in the Super Smash, and I’m looking forward to getting involved and hopefully contributing to some matchwinning performances for the team.”
Blaze head coach Ivan Tissera said it was exciting to welcome back a player of Devine’s calibre.
“Sophie was an inspiration for us last summer, and we have no doubts she will come in and make a big impact for us again this year.
“We have a number of younger players who are playing more regularly in the side this year so having Sophie come back into the frame will be a great experience for those players.
“We’re looking forward to building on the weekend’s win and continuing the momentum as we come into an important period of the competition.”
Devine’s return is one of two changes to the squad that beat Northern Spirit at the Basin Reserve on Saturday – Deanna Doughty and Beth Molony dropping out of the side and Georgia Plimmer coming back in after impressing at the National Under 19 Tournament in Lincoln over the past week.
Blaze currently sits second on the women's table, two points behind new leaders the Auckland Hearts.
Play gets underway at University of Otago Oval at 11.40AM, followed by the Otago Volts and Wellington Firebirds at 3.10PM.