White Ferns all-rounder Amelia Kerr opts out of the upcoming England tour due to mental health reasons

Amelia Kerr has opted out of the New Zealand squad for the upcoming tour of England
Amelia Kerr has opted out of the New Zealand squad for the upcoming tour of England

White Ferns all-rounder Amelia Kerr has opted out of the upcoming white-ball tour against England to prioritize her mental health and well-being. New Zealand Cricket announced the youngster's withdrawal from the tour while announcing the squad earlier today.

The White Ferns are scheduled to play three T20Is and five ODIs on their tour, with the first T20I against England scheduled for September 2 at the County Ground in Chelmsford. They will depart for the UK on Friday, August 13.

“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,” said Kerr.

Team captain Sophie Devine and head coach Bob Carter have both voiced their support for the youngster and are fully behind the decision.

“Player welfare is paramount, particularly in today’s environment,” he said. “It’s important to respect the needs of the athletes. Amelia has shown a lot of courage in making this decision and I look forward to her return to the WHITE FERNS when she decides the time is right,” said Carter.
“We’re obviously going to miss Melie in England. 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," said Devine.
"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,” the skipper added.

News of Kerr's absence comes a couple of days after England cricketer Ben Stokes announced that he would be taking an indefinite break to prioritize his mental health. In these unprecedented times with the COVID virus and bio-bubbles, it's important to realize that these players are human after all.

The courage they have shown in these difficult times to break the stigma around mental health could go a long way in terms of how cricket boards start acknowledging the facts and prioritizing the well-being of their players.

Earlier this year, England toured New Zealand for a three-match T20I and three-match ODI series, asserting their dominance against the hosts, winning both the series rather comfortably. The White Ferns will be eager to exact revenge as they build on their preparations ahead of the upcoming World Cup.


Jess McFadyen and Claudia Green earn their maiden call-ups to the WHITE FERNS squad

The recent squad announcement included two maiden call-ups to the White Ferns squad. After impressing during the domestic season, Wellington Blaze wicket-keeper Jess McFadyen and Central Hinds pacer Claudia Green have been called up for the upcoming tour to England.

After receiving her maiden White Ferns contract for the 2021-22 season after impressive domestic form for the Wellington Blaze, McFayden will tour as a second wicket-keeping option alongside Katey Martin.

Meanwhile, Green was mighty impressive in a warm-up fixture against England in Queenstown, earlier this year as he she took five for 48 for the New Zealand XI and has been one-to-watch for the selectors since then.

The White Ferns coach and captain said they were delighted for the two new players in the squad.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande
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