Otago Sparks squad strengthened by presence of Kate Ebrahim, Felicity Leydon-Davis

Felicity Leydon-Davis and Kate Ebrahim will turn out for Otago Sparks in 2021-22. © Getty Images

Veterans Kate Ebrahim and Felicity Leydon-Davis will play for the Otago Sparks in the 2021-22 season, the club announced on Monday (October 11). The pair have been awarded two of the nine domestic contracts for this season, with teenager Molly Loe the other new addition.

Ebrahim, who played a key role in Canterbury Magicians’ championship winning run last season, boasts of over 5000 runs and 240 wickets across formats. Alongside Leydon-Davis, who makes the move from Northern Spirit, she will play a key role in improving Otago’s performances this season.

“It’s great to announce such a quality group of cricketers in the SBS Bank Otago Sparks contract group for the 2021-22 season,” said Otago’s cricket performance & talent manager Simon Forde. “To be able to add experienced players such as Kate Ebrahim and Felicity Leydon-Davis will add great value to our youthful group both on the field, as well as in our training and off-field environments.”

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Loe, a right-arm seamer from Oamaru was part of the New Zealand Under-19 set up and also featured in a few matches for Otago last season.

Due to the travel restrictions thrown up by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is expected that Otago will be at full strength for the start of the domestic season with the centrally contracted trio of Suzie Bates, Hayley Jensen and Katey Martin available for selection.

Craig Cumming, head coach of Otago, said he was excited by the talent available in the region, adding that the contracts would allow the players to develop at a quicker rate.

“As head coach of the Sparks, I’m genuinely excited about the group we’ve been able to put together for the upcoming season, which holds a nice blend of youth and experience. The challenge for us this year was only selecting 9 players, as we’re very excited about the wider group and the growth those players have shown. We now have a wider squad who are all deserving of a contract, and we are just as excited to see these girls perform as much as the 9 who have been contracted.” Cumming concluded.

Contracted players: Caitlin Blakely, Emma Black, Eden Carson, Kate Ebrahim, Polly Inglis, Bella James, Felicity Leydon-Davis, Molly Loe, Sophie Oldershaw