Sports News

Australian Perry's fitness still in doubt ahead of NZ matches

Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry, the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year, poses for a selfie in front of a mural promoting the Women's T20 World Cup tournament in Melbourne's Hosier Lane, Australia, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Ian Ransom/Files

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry is still a doubt for Saturdays’ opening Twenty20 match against New Zealand in Brisbane as she continues her recovery from hamstring surgery.

The 29-year-old, who did not take part in a warm-up match against the ‘White Ferns’ at Allan Border Field, is due to have her fitness checked later on Thursday.

Perry tore her hamstring during the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year, the last time either side played any cricket before the coronavirus pandemic forced the sport to shutdown.

The T20 world champions host New Zealand for three Twenty20 matches and three one-day internationals in quick succession, with all the games at Allan Border Field.

Perry has expressed doubt she would be available for all six games given the short turnarounds and said that while she could play as a specialist batter she would also prefer to be able to bowl to ensure the team remained balanced.

New Zealand vice captain Amy Satterthwaite, however, is expected to make her return to the side on Saturday for the first time in 19 months after having her first child, a daughter named Grace, earlier this year.

The match will also be the all-rounder’s 100th Twenty20 international, a milestone that she said she never expected to achieve when she made her debut in 2007 against Australia in Darwin.

“I think 50-over is my favoured format,” the 33-year-old said. “It is pretty special. I guess it makes you kind of reflect about your career on what has gone before.

“It will be special to have Grace here. To be able to come back and play and get the milestone will be pretty proud to walk across the line.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford