Australian cricket great says a lot of work to do for White Ferns before home World Cup

Australian cricket great Joanne Broadbent feels there is still a gulf between Australia and New Zealand in the women's game.

White Ferns look on. Source: Photosport

Broadbent says while the White Ferns have improved their performances between the English and Australian tours this summer, a lot of improvement will still be needed by New Zealand to be contenders at next summers World Cup.

She has been coaching Northern Districts this summer and this week extended her contract for another two years.

Broadbent, who played 10 tests and 60 ODI's for Australia in the nineties, says on their day any of the top teams can beat any of the others.

However the current Rose Bowl series has again shown up the differences in the set-up between the trans-Tasman rivals.

"The Australian team has been professional for a number of years even at domestic level as well so you can see the differences from a physical point of view, they're fitter, faster and stronger to where the White Ferns are currently," said Broadbent.

"A lot of the White Ferns are still performing their day jobs as well as trying to fit cricket in so you've really got a professional team verses amateur at the moment."

However Broadbent has been impressed with some individual performances from the White Ferns.

"Jess Kerr and Leigh Kasperek and even Lauren Down making her highest score for the White Ferns against the number one team in the world."

Broadbent feels with the return of Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine and Frankie Mackay the White Ferns will be better and should feel reasonably happy less than a year out from the World Cup.

"They've improved between the England and Australia series' and they're probably sitting in the middle of the pack at the moment so I think New Zealand will probably have a good look both on and off the field to see what sorts of things they can bring to this next World Cup and that's all you can really do, ask for your best and bring your best."

She doesn't believe the White Ferns side will change too much next season.

"Take your hats off to them in these last couple of series' because they have been bringing new players in to see what they can do which is probably not ideal leading into a World Cup as you'd like to see it a little bit more settled however you do need to see players under pressure at the next level."

This season Broadbent guided Northern Districts to the Grand Final of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield one day competition for the first time in their history, while they finished fourth in the Supersmash.

"We have a good mix of experience with a couple of White Ferns now and the youth coming through that I believe will be names in the White Ferns in years to come."

"We're always trying to build the culture where the group gets on well both on and off the field so that when they walk over that white line they're working as one."

There is no club cricket for women in Northern Districts so their players travel to Auckland to play.