Kate Anderson takes the reins | PHOTOSPORT

Two captains to debut in same match

An uncommon piece of cricket history will be written today at Levin's Donnelly Park as Northern Districts women play their first match of the summer.

Both the visiting side ND and their hosts the Central Hinds will have a new captain at the helm in today's one-day Hallyburton Johnstone Shield clash.

Natalie Dodd was announced as the Central Hinds' new skipper during the preseason - a new leader needed after former one-day captain Anlo van Deventer moved to Australia. However, she missed the Hinds' first four matches of the 2021/22 season due to Waikato's COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions.

As acting principal of a Waikato school, Dodd was based behind the Waikato boundary and - like many of the Northern Districts side - has had to sit and wait until now, through the first month of the season.

A number of Northern Districts regulars also live in Auckland which means whilst Waikato-based players can finally join their Bay of Plenty and Northland-based squad members in full participation this week, ND has had to continue to work around squad member availability.

With Auckland-based WHITE FERN Brooke Halliday one of that contingent, that means Kate Anderson will lead the team for the first time today.

So, two new captains in one day: both of them top order powerhouses and excited to captain their team for the first time.

Erstwhile WHITE FERN Dodd has plenty of Hallyburton Johnstone Shield captaincy experience under her belt already, having captained ND when she played for them in her younger years, but it's her first time for CD.

The precise Dodd has been one of the HBJ's most consistent runscorers and heads up the Central Hinds with 145 List A one-dayers under her belt, a 4602 runs and a batting average of 39.08, including 10 centuries and 25 half centuries. A wicketkeeper, she also has 56 catches and 7 stumpings in the books.

Since moving to the Central Hinds from ND three years ago, she has averaged a phenomenal 80.31 in the national competition, from 26 innings, including setting a national record partnership with van Deventer.

The Hinds will be without a couple of key players in NZC-contracted Rosemary Mair (returning from a shin stress reaction) and Claudia Green (unavailable) while ND enters the summer with three players set to make their debut this weekend: Naomi Matthews, Tash Wakelin and Eve Wolland.

Power-packed skipper Anderson is heading into her 60th List A one-day match today with an average of 28.45, two centuries and three half centuries from her career - and a five-wicket bag as an allrounder.

Her team is missing some regulars not only due to Alert Level restrictions in Auckland, but injury and international duty (veteran Eimear Richardson overseas, representing Ireland).

Besides Halliday, Katie Gurrey, Lauren Heaps, Annie Ewart and Maddy Curran are stuck in Auckland. Georgina Harris and Makayla Templeton are injured, and Shriya Naidu is unavailable as she is returning from Australia.

Longtime ND stalwart Felicity Leydon-Davis has meanwhile moved to the Otago Sparks.

Anderson says while ND is missing a number of players, it's a great opportunity to further develop the talent in the region.

"Any time you're missing some key players, it's not ideal, but that's the circumstance and I think we would rather be playing cricket than sitting at home watching live scorecards of other games."

The weekend also shapes as a key opportunity for Dodd and the Hinds who have missed her injection of runs at the top.

The hosts are yet to get a win on the board this summer after two brutal defeats at the hands of the reinvigorated Otago Sparks in Nelson followed by two washouts against the same side in Dunedin last weekend.

Saturday's round begins at 10.30am and Sunday at 10am with Free admission at Donnelly Park, subject to Alert Level 2 protocols.

All Hallyburton Johnstone Shield matches are live-scored here at NZC and on the NZC app.

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