Amelia Kerr pulls out of England tour for mental health priorities; follows Ben Stokes, Simone Biles’ footsteps

Amelia Kerr pulls out of England tour for mental health priorities; follows Ben Stokes, Simone Biles’ footsteps

Recently, Stokes and Biles set a precedence of prioritising mental health.

Amelia Kerr
Amelia Kerr. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr has withdrawn from the upcoming tour of England in order to prioritise her mental health. The White Ferns will leave for the UK on August 13 and are set to play three T20Is and five ODIs from September 1 to 26.

New Zealand have called up the uncapped Claudia Green and Jess McFayden for the limited-overs series. The visitors will be captained by veteran all-rounder Sophie Devine, who recently, pulled out from the inaugural Hundred Women’s edition.

Kerr, who has donned the national colours in 41 ODIs and as many T20Is, stated that she took the decision after consulting her near and dear ones. Kerr mentioned the same in an NZC release, ESPNcricinfo reported.

Amelia Kerr opens up

“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,” Kerr said.

The 31-year-old Devine also had Kerr’s back and talked about the hassles of staying in bio-secure bubbles day in and day out due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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,” Devine said.

New Zealand squad:

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.

Recently, England men’s Ben Stokes and USA gymnast Simone Biles set a precedence of prioritising mental health. Biles, a four-time Olympic gold medallist, withdrew from her games in the Tokyo Olympics last week. However, she returned to win the bronze medal on the balance beam on Tuesday.

Stokes, on the other hand, won’t be a part of England men’s upcoming Test series against India, starting August 4 at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham.