Amelia Kerr, a White Ferns all-rounder, has opted out of the upcoming white-ball tour against England in order to prioritize her mental health and well-being. While announcing the squad earlier today, New Zealand Cricket announced the youngster’s withdrawal from the tour.
On their tour, the White Ferns will play three T20Is and five ODIs, with the first T20I against England scheduled for September 2 at the County Ground in Chelmsford. They will leave for the United Kingdom on Friday, August 13.
“I enjoy representing my country and playing for the WHITE FERNS. However, after extensive consultation with my support network, I’ve decided that prioritizing my mental health and well-being is my top priority. “I have not made this decision lightly; I believe it is best for me at this time,” Kerr explained.
Both team captain Sophie Devine and head coach Bob Carter have expressed their support for the youngster and fully support the decision.
“Player welfare is critical, especially in today’s environment,” he said. “It is critical to respect the athletes’ needs. Amelia has shown great bravery in making this decision, and I eagerly await her return to the WHITE FERNS when she decides the time is right,” Carter said.
“Obviously, we will miss Melie in England. As a cricketer, she excels in all three aspects of the game and is a lot of fun to be around off the field. “Everyone is aware of how difficult the environment is right now with Covid-19; time away from family, living in a bio-bubble, or quarantine periods,” said Devine.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have such strong support from both New Zealand Cricket and the CPA.” It’s critical that we talk openly about it because things can get tough and we need to make sure our players, teammates, and friends are taken care of. We’re all wrapped around Melie, and we know she’ll make a comeback when she’s ready,” the captain added.
Kerr’s absence comes just a few days after England cricketer Ben Stokes announced an indefinite break to prioritize his mental health. In these unprecedented times of the COVID virus and bio-bubbles, it’s critical to remember that these players are, after all, human.
The courage they have shown in these difficult times to break the stigma surrounding mental health could go a long way toward how cricket boards begin to acknowledge the facts and prioritize the well-being of their players.
Earlier this year, England visited New Zealand for a three-match T20I and three-match ODI series, winning both series comfortably. The White Ferns will be hungry for vengeance as they ramp up their preparations for the upcoming World Cup.
SQUAD NEWS | Maiden call-ups for @cricketwgtninc Blaze wicket-keeper Jessie McFadyen and @CDCricket seamer Claudia Green 🏏— WHITE FERNS (@WHITE_FERNS) August 3, 2021
All-rounder Amelia Kerr has opted out of the tour to prioritise her mental health ❤️
READ 🗞 https://t.co/NAXTNHvoNR#ENGvNZ pic.twitter.com/pSkXCj6hgZ
Jess McFadyen and Claudia Green are named to the WHITE FERNS squad for the first time.
The White Ferns squad received two first-time call-ups in the most recent squad announcement. Wellington Blaze wicket-keeper Jess McFadyen and Central Hinds pacer Claudia Green have been called up for the upcoming tour to England after impressing during the domestic season.
McFayden will tour as a second wicket-keeper option alongside Katey Martin after earning her first White Ferns contract for the 2021-22 season after impressive domestic form for the Wellington Blaze.
Meanwhile, Green was a standout in a warm-up match against England in Queenstown earlier this year, taking five for 48 for the New Zealand XI and has been a selector’s favorite ever since.
The White Ferns’ coach and captain expressed their excitement for the two new players in the squad.