Wellington, Dec 5 (IANS): Evergreen New Zealand batter Suzie Bates has admitted she would love to prolong her career and represent her country at the Olympics for a second time when cricket makes its long-awaited return at Los Angeles in 2028.
Bates was part of New Zealand's basketball team that went to the Beijing Games in 2008 and the 36-year-old has not given up hope of still being around in 2028 and making it to a second Olympics - though this time as a cricketer, reports ICC.
The star right-hander is already New Zealand's highest women's ODI run-scorer of all time and her ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year award from 2013 is one of many accolades Bates has collected over her storied career.
Whether she can add another chapter to that career at Los Angeles in more than four years remains to be seen, but the veteran White Fern admitted her interest in doing so was jolted recently when she heard cricket would be returning to the Olympics in 2028 for the first time since it made its lone appearance in Paris in 1900.
“Look, I did (think of it),” Bates admitted. “I think I was like, ‘How old will I be’?
“Maybe I don't need to say that out loud, but it did cross my mind."
Bates played for her country at last year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and said that alone was a great honour.
"I just feel so fortunate that in the sports that I've played, I've been able to go to an Olympics and play at a Commonwealth Games," Bates added.
"I guess to go to another Olympics for a different sport would be pretty special, but I am definitely not putting any huge aspirations on that yet."
Bates is currently in the middle of a white-ball series on home soil against Pakistan and her attention will quickly turn to next year's ICC Women's T20 World Cup that is scheduled to take place in Bangladesh.
New Zealand have twice finished as runner up at previous editions of the tournament, but failed to even qualify for the knockout stages of the event when Australia won an unprecedented sixth title in South Africa earlier this year.
Bates said preparing for that T20 World Cup was her main focus and any decision on her playing career would not be made until after that tournament.
“At the moment, the 2024 World Cup in Bangladesh is the next event myself and the team are preparing for," Bates noted.
“I think I've learnt at my age to not get too far ahead because you know how things can change so quickly, and the game is very fickle.
“...And I think after every pinnacle event at my age, you sit back, you check your body, ‘How am I feeling’?
“You check your mind, ‘How are you feeling?’ And you ask how much you've got left.
“For me, the answer has always been that I have more left than me. So, until that answer is no, that's when I guess I'll know.”