SkyCity Hamilton Northern Spirit head coach Kari Carswell has named a 13-strong squad to contest the opening rounds of the Burger King Super Smash at Lincoln.
The action-packed opening takes place from Thursday 25 October - Sunday 28 October and will see the Spirit play each of the other five Major Associations over the space of four days.
Captain Samantha Curtis is very happy with the Spirit's pre-season, given the geographical challenges the Spirit face trying to assemble the squad as a whole.
"We've had a number of pre-season camps in Hamilton, Tauranga and South Auckland where we've managed to get the majority of the squad in attendance.
"We've also had regular regional trainings across the three centres and it has been awesome to see the hard work and commitment being shown by all of the girls."
Aside from the hard work at training, Curtis is drawing confidence from the support the squad is receiving from above.
"We're determined to be better this season and we've already made great strides with the backing of our CEO and Board.
"The new full-time head coach Kari Carswell is bringing her many years of international playing, captaincy and coaching experience to the role. The environment she has created is one of fun, but also demands hard work and a positive attitude.
"We also have a new and exciting assistant coach in Vic Lind, who merges her tactical and technical knowledge with the clinical and disciplined training culture ingrained in her from more than a decade with the Hearts, which is already rubbing off on the Spirit."
There are several new faces who will be making their Spirit debuts in Lincoln. Irish international Eimear Richardson is an exciting all-rounder who has moved to the Spirit from the Wellington Blaze, while intimidating fast bowler Lily Mulivai has made the switch from the Auckland Hearts.
Special mention should also be reserved for medium pacer Briana Perry and off-spinner Charlotte Sarsfield, who both impressed selectors during pre-season to earn their spots in the first round of Burger King Super Smash games at Lincoln, despite only having a handful of caps between them.
The Spirit is also happy to welcome back Felicity Leydon-Davis, who is back to 100% bowling fitness after playing in the UK this summer and will be one of the keys to the Spirit's bowling attack this season.
Captain Curtis is feeling confident that the squad is prepared not only for the challenge at Lincoln, but also the full cricket season ahead.
"We're excited. We think we're going to surprise a few people. We're coming to Lincoln ready to play. To kick this season off in the right way."
SKYCITY HAMILTON NORTHERN SPIRIT BURGER KING SUPER SMASH SQUAD
Samantha Curtis - Captain (Bay of Plenty/Sonic)
Kate Anderson (Bay of Plenty/Power)
Bernadine Bezuidenhout (Power)
Carolyn Esterhuizen (Sonic)
Katie Gurrey (Counties Manukau/Galaxy)
Brooke Halliday (Counties Manukau/Galaxy)
Mereana Hyde (Sonic)
Felicity Leydon-Davis (Hamilton/Velocity)
Lily Mulivai (Power)
Nensi Patel (Bay of Plenty/Velocity)
Briana Perry (Bay of Plenty/Velocity)
Eimear Richardson (Sonic)
Charlotte Sarsfield (Hamilton/Sonic)
Click here to see the 2018-19 Burger King Super Smash schedule.