New Zealand, who are the host of the upcoming 50-over Women’s World Cup, will go into the competition without their most successful ODI bowler in recent years. Off-spinner Leigh Kasperek has been left out of the 15-player squad for the 2022 edition of the tournament.

Kasperek has featured in 26 of the 35 ODIs New Zealand Women have played since the last World Cup, in England in 2017. In these matches, she has taken 42 wickets at an average of 21.26, with an economy rate of 4.34.

Seventeen-year-old left-arm spinner Fran Jonas, who has played just two international games, was named among the 15 players in Kasperek’s place.

“I really felt for Leigh, she’s a really fine bowler,” coach Bob Carter said of the tough decision to leave the experienced spinner out.

“It was based around the balance of our team. We didn’t have any of the three spinners that we’ve selected for the World Cup in the UK, and it came down to a choice – would we take an extra spinner or would we take an extra batter, and that created a lot of debate.

“I really feel for her because she’s been a great member of the White Ferns, and it’s at times like that, as a selector or coach, that I wish I could have had another place,” added Carter.

New Zealand will begin their World Cup campaign against West Indies on March 4 in Mount Maunganui.

New Zealand squad for the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup:

Sophie Devine (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Suzie Bates, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Frankie Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu.

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