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Bates Happy To Be Back In The Southern Vipers Ranks

Southern Vipers batsman is happy to back with the Southern Vipers for this summer's campaign

Suzie Bates admits she is happy to be back in the ranks at Southern Vipers.

But the New Zealand legend says she will be happy to help if new skipper Tammy Beaumont wants her advice.

After taking charge in 2018, Bates has stepped down in favour of England opener Beaumont but she admits she “couldn’t help herself” when things got tight against Western Storm on Sunday.

“I am a lot more relaxed off the field but when it gets close, like it did against Storm, then I can’t help myself,” said Bates. “Having been captain I know what is helpful to offer Tammy and what isn’t. At the end of the day, Tammy has to make the decisions and if I have a really good thought, I will run up to her.”

Beaumont threw Bates the ball for the final over against Storm who squeezed home by three wickets with a ball to spare after the New Zealander had taken two wickets in an over which began with Storm only needing two to win.

Bates is already established as one of the best batters in the women’s game but now she is no longer captaining her country or the Vipers, she wants more opportunity to win games with the ball.

“It is nice to just be chucked the ball and not have to decide myself whether to bowl or not,” she added. “I haven’t bowled that much lately so it was a real confidence boost to be given the ball for the last over against Storm. I want to be a death bowler for New Zealand, and it helps to get those opportunities with the Vipers.”

Bates also hopes her decision to relinquish her role as White Ferns captain could help prolong her stellar career.

The 31-year-old has played 232 times for her country but stepped down last September in favour of Amy Sattherthwaite.

“It is nice to be a normal cricketer again! I miss some of it, but it was the right time for me,” she said. “I am away so much I just want to enjoy my cricket – I don’t know how long I have left.

“If there are teams who need me to captain then I will always put my hand up but at the moment there are plenty of young players who want to have that experience and I’ve done it for long enough.”

After winning their first two games, defeat to the Storm was a blow and Vipers were unable to bounce back quickly when Monday’s match against Surrey Stars at the Kia Oval was washed out.

On Thursday Vipers play the first of two games in Sussex. They take on Lancashire Thunder at Hove (6.30) before hosting Surrey at Arundel on Sunday (2.30).

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