All-rounder Amelia Kerr has opted out of New Zealand Women's tour of England to prioritise her mental health and well-being. The White Ferns play three T20 Internationals (T20I) and as many as five One-Day Internationals (ODI) against England Women, starting September 2.
However, Wellington Blaze wicket-keeper Jess McFadyen and Central Districts seamer Claudia Green have earned their maiden call-ups to the White Ferns squad. Speaking of her situation, Kerr said, “I love representing New Zealand and playing for the White Ferns."
“However, after plenty of consultation with my support network, putting my mental health and well-being first is my number one priority."
“I’ve not taken this decision lightly - I feel this is best for me at the current time,” she added.
White Ferns coach Bob Carter is in complete support of Kerr's decision. “Player welfare is paramount, particularly in today’s environment. It’s important to respect the needs of the athletes,” he said.
“Amelia has shown a lot of courage in making this decision and I look forward to her return to the White Ferns when the time is right,” he added.
Skipper Sophie Devine added that the team is going to miss Kerr on the England tour. “We’re obviously going to miss Melie in England,” said Devine.
“As a cricketer, she offers plenty in all three aspects of the game and is great fun to have around off the park. “Every individual knows how tough the environment is at the moment with Covid-19; time away from family, living in a bio-bubble or quarantine periods."
“We’re really fortunate we have great support around us from both New Zealand Cricket and the CPA."
“It’s important we talk openly about it because it can get tough and we need to ensure our players, teammates and friends are looked after. We’re all wrapping around Melie and know she’ll make a comeback when she’s ready," she added.
Speaking of the two new players in the squad, Carter expressed his delight of having them on board. Green caught attention when she picked up 5 for 48 against the touring England side in Queenstown in a warm-up match.
(With inputs from NZC Media Release)
McFayden, on the other hand, earned her maiden White Ferns Contract for 2021-22 after an impressive season with the Wellington Blaze. She will be the second wicketkeeper along with Katey Martin on this tour. “This is a really exciting time for both Jess and Claudia,” said Carter.
“Both have impressed at domestic cricket and thoroughly deserve their chance at the next level. Jess has an outstanding work ethic and we want cricketers who are determined and willing to work hard. If she gets her chance over in England I know she’ll be ready.
“Claudia showed what she can do against England last summer for the New Zealand XI against a quality English batting lineup. She swings the ball and can cause trouble at the top of an innings. This tour represents a chance to work on her game and experience new conditions, and I know she’ll be pushing hard for a spot in the eleven.”
The squad will depart for England on August 13.
New Zealand squad for England tour: Sophie Devine (c), Amy Satterthwaite (vc), Suzie Bates, Lauren Down, Claudia Green, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Jess Kerr, Katey Martin (wk), Leigh Kasperek, Rosemary Mair, Jess McFadyen (wk), Thamsyn Newton, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu