Heat star Kerr withdraws from Big Bash stint
New Zealand leg-spinner to remain at home having already opted out of the tour of England
10 September 2021, 10:10 AM AEST
Star New Zealand leg-spinner Amelia Kerr will miss this year's Weber WBBL, withdrawing from the Brisbane Heat squad to focus on her mental health.
Kerr, who was on a two-year deal with the Heat, had already withdrawn from the White Ferns' current limited-overs tour of England and has confirmed she is not yet ready to return to the field.
The 20-year-old thanked the Heat for backing her decision.
"I am very grateful for the Heat's support," she said.
"I am making really good progress and want to keep that going.
"It's a tough decision as I love representing the Brisbane Heat and can't speak highly enough of the support team and players.
"I will be following the tournament with great interest and cheering the team on from New Zealand."
One of the world's most exciting young players, who has been playing international cricket since debuting at 16 in 2016, Kerr was part of the Heat's WBBL|05 title-winning team and has taken 31 wickets in 30 games in teal, while maintaining an economy rate of 5.80.
Kerr's withdrawal leaves the Heat with one overseas spot to fill for WBBL|07, and Heat coach Ashley Noffke said the club was exploring its options to source a replacement player before the season starts on October 14.
"We have been in regular contact with Melie, her family and wider support network and fully understand and support the decision she has made," Noffke said.
"She has been honest and brave with her decisions and the Heat will be ready and willing to assist her in the future, whether for a return to playing or simply as part of her Australian circle of friends and teammates who will happily do what is best for her."
Brisbane currently have South Africa allrounders Nadine de Klerk and Anneke Bosch on their books and have confirmed 10 of their 15 players for the upcoming season.
Brisbane Heat WBBL|07 squad so far: Jess Jonassen (c), Anneke Bosch (SA), Nadine de Klerk (SA), Grace Harris, Laura Kimmince, Mikayla Hinkley, Charli Knott, Georgia Prestwidge, Georgia Redmayne, Georgia Voll
In: Anneke Bosch Out: Amelia Kerr, Delissa Kimmince (retired)
Off contract: Nicola Hancock, Courtney Sippell, Lilly Mills, Maddy Green (NZ)