White Fern all-rounder Thamsyn Newton returns to top level cricket tomorrow with the start of the one-day Hallyburton Johnstone Shield after an off-season where she learned to love the game again - by playing rugby.
Newton was at risk of falling out of love with the game last season.
“I Struggled a little bit with enjoying the game of cricket. So I just sort of took a step back and thought, what could I do?” Newton said.
So she turned to rugby, or the previous "love of her life" as she calls it.
Newton threw herself back into the rough and tumble with the Wellington Pride in this year's Farah Palmer Cup.
"There’s been a few challenging moments just with my body being a bit like, “What are you doing to me?” Newton said
But now she's back at the Basin Reserve, intact and ready to go.
“Yes, they [the knees] have [survived] - just. I did actually sub-lux it, which is a small dislocation,” she said.
Newton and her team are gearing up for a shot at a third straight T20 title and a first one-day trophy in 15 years.
The summer will also make more history at the Basin with a special honours boards at the Basin Reserve, solely for the women following a women’s master agreement was brought in earlier this year.
“To have an honours board in your changing room with all the women that have gone before you, it’s just really special to look at,” Blaze captain Leigh Kasperek said.
“I’ll certainly be doing my best to get up there, that’s for sure," a laughing Newton said.
With her new rugby team mates cheering her on.
“They hate cricket but that’s okay,” Newton laughed.