LISTEN: White Ferns vice captain Amy Satterthwaite continues to cement herself as a legend in world cricket after returning to the game as a mum, but she admits it hasn’t been easy. 

Amy Satterthwaite remembers watching herself on video running between wickets after returning to the crease as a mother – and barely recognising herself.

“I was thinking, ‘Man, is that me running? That’s incredibly slow’,” she laughs. “I was certainly a bit slower coming back.”

The White Ferns vice captain is now back up to speed since returning to top-level cricket following the birth of her daughter, Grace, who’s now almost two.

Last weekend, 35-year-old Satterthwaite broke the record for List A one-day appearances in New Zealand cricket, overtaking former White Fern-turned-coach Sara McGlashan’s landmark 301 games.

The following day, she scored 46 and took three wickets to help the Canterbury Magicians to a thrilling seven-run victory over Suzie Bates’ Otago Sparks in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield.

But it hasn’t been simple, Satterthwaite tells Dennis Katsanos on the Through the Pickets podcast.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” she says of returning to sport after childbirth. “If I did it again I would probably do things differently. My body certainly has changed and it’s something no one can prepare you for.

“I’ve been really lucky throughout my career not to have major injuries. And the biggest thing since having had Grace is just all those wee niggles and trying to keep on top of them and being able to stay on the park.

“It felt like a constant battle at times.”

Satterthwaite was the first New Zealand cricketer to take advantage of the maternity leave policy, entitled to full pay – without the obligation of training or playing – during her pregnancy and her recovery afterwards.

She’s fortunate to have the support of her wife, White Ferns fast bowler Lea Tahuhu, and of New Zealand Cricket, supporting the couple to take Grace on international tours with them – with some unexpected benefits of travelling in a Covid bubble.

The couple, who’ve been together 12 years, have a policy of a holding a cricket debrief on the bus or car ride after a game, so they can “go home and enjoy being a family”.

Also in the podcast, Satterthwaite talks about how the allure of playing in a home World Cup in New Zealand this summer has kept her in the game. And how Australia and England investing resources into the women’s game – and now reaping the rewards – is encouraging New Zealand to do the same.

She also reveals how she wanted to be a safari vet in Africa, and how as an eager young kid, she coerced a Black Caps legend to throw the ball down to her for half an hour.

* 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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