In 2017, the ICC facilitated Amy Satterthwaite as the Women’s ODI player of the year award.
While accepting the honour, Amy expressed, “It is special to be getting the award from Suzie and to place it in the hands of New Zealand cricket. “
There was no drama, no theatrics and no usage of verbose expressions. Amy posed for a picture, collected her award, thanked those in attendance and vanished.
Just like she’d vanished into the rush of her teammates who ran up to her when, as captain of Melbourne Renegades, she helped her team contest in a nervy super over, by striking in the final ball of the 20th over against the Stars for a massive six in the last instalment of the WBBL.
It was a colossal hit. It carried a statement of intent; that despite an unreal ask- 7 needed off 1- Amy wouldn’t hit her dugout without trying.
And when, the moment of glory came, ordaining her to steal the limelight, she was one among her team. She wasn’t the hero riding on everyone’s shoulders.
That’s Amy Satterthwaite for you. She is uncomplicated and simple, and simply uncomplicated. That she earned a massive feat was little surprise.
In fact, in all honesty, the ICC would much rather want to thank Amy for making their job easier.
For this modest Kiwi all-rounder had managed a feat that seemed, after all, hard to beat; let alone bettered by anyone.
The 2016-17 form of Amy Satterthwaite
From the onset of September ‘16 to December ‘17, it wasn’t Mithali Raj, not Meg Lanning, neither Ellyse Perry nor, Stafanie Taylor or Deandra Dottin but Amy Satterthwaite who managed to collect 1183 runs at an average of 84 and also happened to scalp 24 wickets in the ODIs.
A year later, the earnest Kiwi is ready to take over the reins as Captain of New Zealand, from the outgoing Suzie Bates who’s served her resignation voluntarily.
For a player so used to being habitually low-key, unflustered by both, whether the lack of media attention or surrounded by excessive media bytes, this change of leadership guard for New Zealand provides a new opportunity to contribute.
Why she’d be a good captain?
Maybe it would entrust the task of leading a truly well-balanced unit on the shoulders of a dependable batswoman, quite like Bates, who’s learned about the game by observing massively experienced players around her.
Maybe it’ll let Bates breathe, finally, having arduously carried forth the mantle of Kiwi leadership for 6 long years, starting 2012.
Maybe it will benefit Amy, to the extent of learning from a true wealth of experience around her; colleagues that together exemplify why NZ cricket is less about personal stardom and more about collective heights scaled.
White Ferns’ recent form
A team that doesn’t rest on personal laurels and derives confidence from the ability of its players, they often hunt in pairs – Devine and Bates with the bat when not with the ball and Amy and Tahuhu- with the bat and ball respectively. Amy’s shouldering of captaincy will allow the rare freedom of experienced pros such as Bates to express themselves with a newly gained freedom of sorts. This might enable the side to scale some peaks in the mother of all sporting battles slated to begin in November in the Caribbean.
Surely you’d take the White Ferns lightly at your own peril in the T20 World Cup. They crushed the Windies first up and later blasted Ireland.
Meanwhile, Satterthwaite, who could not get much chance to free his arms due to the menacing form of her teammates’ against England and Ireland, would start unfurling vital lessons in leadership especially as the White Ferns play Australia, a side against whom she made her ODI and Test debuts.
It’s also a side Amy has played a lot of cricket against
While the two one-off occasions where she served captain, once against Ireland and later, against Pakistan would’ve given the left-handed a sizeable idea of just how big a task it is, her natural keenness to learn and zeal for accepting challenges with glee- a quintessential Kiwi trait- would hold her in good stead.
Meanwhile, her go-to source for motivation under duress- Bates- would relish the fact that her beloved team’s command is in hands of a fiercely dedicated player who much rather prefers being amid challenge than rubbing off her victories at having countered them.
To that end, there’s evidence about Amy’s focus
Which batswoman- in an age favouring glib and theatrics- would not have lost her head, at least a little bit, upon striking 4 consecutive hundreds, a feat Amy shares with the great Kumar Sangakkara?
Despite the rigours it would impose, captaincy may also offer Amy a chance to strengthen her game having played a lot of it as among the core think tank of a tireless side for all these years.
In a way, it will give fans a renewed opportunity for both- getting to hear more from and about a cricketer- who actually prefers to stay in the backdrop as her efforts court the attention.