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Double Trouble looms as two sets of twins selected in the same cricket squad

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In what’s believed to be a New Zealand first, two sets of twins have been selected in the same Central Districts representative team gearing up for this season’s NZC National Women’s Under-21 Cricket Tournament that starts in Auckland this Friday. 

New Zealand’s most eminent cricket statistician and author of the New Zealand Cricket Almanack, Francis Payne, commented that while there has been plenty of examples of twins opposing each other in the same game, he could not recall two sets selected in the same side at this level.

“It probably has happened in lower-grade games,” said Payne, noting that it’s a global rarity across all sports, let alone cricket in New Zealand.

Twin sisters Gemma and Kate Sims, and Anna and Kate Gaging, are no strangers to all playing cricket together, the four players also having been members of the champion CD development squad that won the national up-and-comers Under-15 title in January 2016.

The identical Gaging sisters were also both selected for New Zealand in this year’s Under-18 World Indoor Cricket Cup team, although did not ultimately make the trip to the Dubai event.

Telling them apart hopefully will be made less confusing for the scorers as both Kate Gaging and Gemma Sims are in the squad as wicketkeepers. While the family bonds are eye-catching, there is also a significantly strong Central Hinds presence in and around the side, reflecting the up-and-coming strength of the CD region as the women’s game takes off.

Exciting, hard-hitting young Central Hinds batting and spin-bowling star Jess Watkin will lead the Under-21 squad that will be coached by her Hinds teammate Mikaela Greig, and managed by Hinds captain Anlo van Deventer.

Rosemary Mair (available for the first three days of the tournament only due to work commitments), Monique Rees, Georgia Atkinson and Kate Sims have also all already represented the senior Hinds side and coach Greig says she is expecting another strong showing from the women in green and gold when the nationals get underway this Friday.

“It’s a very promising squad again this year with seven of our players returning from last year’s tournament so we have a good mix of experience and newbies,” says Greig.

“We won this tournament two years ago, and we’re really looking forward to getting out there. We’re confident we’re building a very exciting future for the women’s game in CD.”

The team’s opening fixture against Canterbury this Friday begins 10.30am tomorrow at the tournament base, Auckland’s Lloyd Elsmore Park.