LISTEN: Outstanding White Fern cricketer Suzie Bates has returned to her old passion, basketball, during her rehab from surgery, and has found another way to make a difference.

Suzie Bates is on track to return to the White Ferns after shoulder surgery, but she may not return to the bowling crease any time soon.

The former New Zealand captain is back in the White Ferns fold, after surgery on her rotator cuff, and is hoping to be back to full fitness for the series against England in three months’ time. And while the two-time World ODI Player of the Year is able to bat and throw in training, it will be a while before she bowls again.

“In this team, my role is to get back batting at the top of the order and back being able to field at 100 percent,” Bates tells Dennis Katsanos on the Through the Pickets podcast. “And not wasting too much time on bowling if that’s not a really clear role for me in the White Ferns set-up.”

Bates admits one of the best things to happen during her rehab has been returning to her basketball roots, as an assistant coach of the Otago Nuggets for the 2021 NBL men’s season. Bates played for the Tall Ferns at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“When I [started coaching], I was struggling to see where I was going to contribute with a group I hadn’t had much to do with, and the male-female dynamic,” she says. “But the first thing for me is inspiring other women to coach men… being a female face on the coaching staff.”

Also in the podcast, Bates reveals she would like to do more cricket commentary and use her PE degree in the future to help grow the confidence of kids. 

And she talks about how Silver Fern Donna Wilkins and Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ulmer influenced her career, her love of karaoke, and why she went to a roof-top party with LeBron James and the US basketball team. 

* Through the Pickets is the NZ Cricket Players’ Association podcast. 

Suzanne McFadden, the 2021 Voyager Media Awards Sports Journalist of the Year, founded LockerRoom, dedicated to women's sport.

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