Christchurch [New Zealand]: New Zealand all-rounder Leigh Kasperek will represent the Wellington Blaze in the upcoming 2019-20 domestic season.
The 27-year-old has re-joined the Blaze after being with the Otago Sparks for six years where she developed the reputation as a dangerous off-spinner, earning her New Zealand debut in 2015.
Blaze successfully defended their national T20 title by winning the inaugural women’s T20 Super Smash last summer and will be out to complete a T20 three-peat, as well as claim their first Women’s One-Day competition since 2003.
Kasperek is currently overseas playing in the UK and will make the move to Wellington in September. Ranked as the fourth best T20 bowler in the world, she has represented New Zealand 64 times and has played at three World Cups, including the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies.
“I really enjoyed my time with the Sparks and will look back fondly at many great years of cricket. However, I am excited for the new challenge that awaits in Wellington and look forward to linking up with the team for the coming season,” said Kasperek in a statement.
Born in Edinburgh, Kasperek made her international debut for Scotland at the age of 15 before moving to New Zealand in 2012. An off-spinner by trade, she is known for her clever use of flight, drift, and dip and is a proficient right-hand batter with the ability to play all around the ground.
Blaze captain Liz Perry said Kasperek would be a valuable addition to the team as they look to build on the last summer’s success.
“We want to be the leading domestic team in New Zealand and have fun along the way and Leigh will be a great addition both on and off the field. Leigh is an exceptionally talented cricketer who has really started to dominate domestic cricket with bat and ball,” said Perry.
“She will be a key driving force for success within the team as she is always hungry to be better and this will encourage those around her to follow in her footsteps,” added Perry.
Blaze head coach Ivan Tissera said he was looking forward to helping Kasperek improve her game.
“Leigh is an extremely talented player and will bring with her the skills and experience from her domestic and international playing career. We are really excited about helping Leigh develop her game and seeing her progress to the next level with the resources we have available at Cricket Wellington,” Tissera said.