4 Aug 2021

White Ferns star opts out of tour citing mental health issues

6:54 am on 4 August 2021

White Ferns all-rounder Amelia Kerr has become the latest New Zealand athlete to take time out of sport due to mental health reasons.

White Ferns Amelia Kerr walks from the field after being dismissed by Australia 2021.

Amelia Kerr Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kerr has opted out of the upcoming tour to England due to personal circumstances, citing the need to prioritise her mental health and well-being.

It comes after White Ferns captain Sophie Devine took a fatigue-enforced break at the end of the summer.

"I love representing New Zealand and playing for the White Ferns," Kerr said.

"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."

Devine has praised Kerr for speaking out.

"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," Devine said.

"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."

White Ferns captain Sophie Devine looks on.


White Ferns coach Bob Carter also supports Kerr's 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 the time is right."

Wellington Blaze wicketkeeper Jess McFadyen and Central Districts seam bowler Claudia Green have earned their maiden call-ups to the New Zealand squad to tour England.

Green caught the selectors' eyes last summer when she took five for 48 for the New Zealand XI against England in a Queenstown warm-up fixture.

McFadyen received her maiden national contract for the 2021-22 season after impressive domestic form for the Blaze. She tours as a second wicket-keeping option alongside Katey Martin.

The White Ferns leave for the UK next Friday with the first Twenty20 International against England on September 2 at Chelmsford.