Birthday special: Suzie Bates – New Zealand’s sporting legend

Donning the national jersey and repressing one’s country in a sport is a special moment for any athlete. But then to represent the country in two different sports at the highest level is an even more incredible achievement. New Zealand’s Suzie Bates has had this honour as the New Zealand cricketer has also played basketball at the Olympic Games in 2008. As Bates celebrates her birthday on the 16th of September, let’s dive in deeper to know about her legacy.

Suzie Bates – The embodiment of excellence

In cricket, the all-rounders are of paramount importance. Suzie Bates has been an important cog of New Zealand’s wheel, owing to her innate all-rounder abilities. Ever since her debut, she has scalped crucial wickets, chipped in valuable runs, and has done all of it for more than a decade for the White Ferns. The batting all-rounder made her international debut in 2006 against India and has been entering the record books ever since.

Initially, Bates played two sports wherein she represented New Zealand in basketball at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But after she was handed over the captaincy of the White Ferns in July 2011, basketball went on the back foot for her. However, she had played professionally for Christchurch Sirens in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League and then eventually moved to the Otago Gold Rush in 2009 and the Logan Thunder (WNBL) in 2009/10.

Suzie Bates possesses an attacking batting style and the role of captaincy never seemed to have affected her game. She is highly regarded as one of the power hitters of the women’s game. When the White Ferns registered the highest ODI team total of 490 against Ireland, Bates starred with the bat playing belligerent innings of 151 off 94 balls.

Bates has featured for New Zealand in 125 ODIs and as many T20I matches. In the One Day Internationals, she has chipped in 4548 runs which includes 10 centuries and 27 half-centuries and picked up 75 wickets. Whereas in the T20Is, Bates has smashed 3344 runs by hitting a century and 21 half-tons and also scalped 50 wickets.