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Bates joins select group to play 100 games

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 27/06/2017

When Suzie Bates first pulled on a White Ferns jersey 11 years ago, her $30 daily allowance meant she viewed playing the game as nothing more than "a hobby". © ANDREW COULDRIDGE When Suzie Bates first pulled on a White Ferns jersey 11 years ago, her $30 daily allowance meant she viewed playing the game as nothing more than "a hobby". When Suzie Bates first pulled on a White Ferns jersey 11 years ago, her $30 daily allowance meant she viewed playing the game as nothing more than "a hobby".

Things have certainly changed.

The 29-year-old will become the eighth New Zealand women's cricketer to reach 100 games for her country when she leads her team out on Wednesday night (NZT) to face South Africa in a World Cup match at Derby.

Bates says to be playing with future centurions Rebecca Rolls, Haidee Tiffen and Debbie Hockley as an 18-year-old was a privilege.

"I can't remember where the last 10 or 11 years have gone," she said.

"I was at university and cricket was a hobby - I definitely didn't think I'd still be playing at 29 and be up to my 100th game."

Bates said the game is "unrecognisable" from a decade ago.

"When I started you got a $30 daily allowance if you were at home, or $70 if you were paying your own rent.

"Everyone was either studying, at school or had a career, and going on tour was a dream.

"Now, half a dozen of us do this 10 months a year and get paid for it."

Bates said a long career has brought maturity and perspective, but it is hard for the "18-year-old in me" not to come out every now and again.

She said she clearly remembers the World Cup final New Zealand lost to England in Sydney in 2009 and hoped they had the team to go that far again.

"We had a good start against Sri Lanka [winning by nine wickets] but we're not getting too excited because the World Cup can be a long slog.

"We can't take any teams lightly."

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