Sports correspondent & historian
When newly contracted White Fern Nensi Patel plays her first game in the New Zealand uniform, it will signal the handing of the baton from the first Bay of Plenty homegrown White Fern.
The signing of Nensi Patel by NZ Cricket follows hard on the heels of Anna Peterson’s retirement at the end of the last season.
January 2008 saw Anna Peterson make her Northern Spirit debut against the Otago Sparks at the Bay Oval, which would lead to a highly decorated cricket career - and a place in ICC cricket history forever.
Peterson became the first New Zealand Women's player to take a hat-trick in a T20 International, when she grabbed three wickets at a cost of just two runs, including the three successive ball feat against Australia on February 19, 2017.
The match at the Geelong Stadium, which squared the Trans-Tasman series at one game apiece, was just the fourth occasion that a hat-trick had been achieved in Women's T20 International cricket.
Anna revealed her take on her three-ball feat when interviewed by this writer, sometime after the game.
When asked about her feelings on achieving the magical hat-trick she replied "honestly, it was all a bit of a blur. We had lost the first game at the MCG and with rain around in Geelong it didn't look like we would get a result".
"I hadn't bowled all game and hadn't expected too. The umpires and match officials had a bit of a mis-communication, finding that our front line bowlers had technically bowled out. So Suzie (Bates) turned to me.
"The team leaders came together with me at the start of the over, and then after each delivery, and came up with as specific plan for that ball." "I tried to execute each ball exactly how we planned, and it worked."
Anna retired from the White Ferns at the end of the 2020, with 32 ODI appearances and 13 T20I games, which included the 2017 Women's World Cup and two T20 Women's World Cups.
While Anna will be long remembered for her T20I hat-trick, her 14 year NZC Major Association career with the Northern Spirit and then with the Auckland Hearts from 2014, put her alongside the best domestic players of her time.
Anna Peterson made 137 appearances in NZC One-Day games, where she posted 2106 runs with a best of 102no and took 109 wickets with best bowling figures of 5/20.
Her T20 performances were no less impressive, with 124 games where she hit 1450 runs accompanied by 96 wickets.
Nensi Patel has big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of Anna Peterson.
However, Nensi has served an able apprenticeship with the now Northern Brave, and is now ready to write her own pieces of New Zealand Women's Cricket history.