21 Sep 2017

Kerr youngest player to be offered NZ Cricket contract

1:43 pm on 21 September 2017

The teenage Wellington leg spinner Amelia Kerr has become the youngest player, man or woman, to be offered an international contract by New Zealand Cricket.

Kerr, 16, joins Auckland's Maddy Green as first time contracted White Fern players among the 15 strong list.

All-rounder Anna Peterson returns to the contracted group while Liz Perry, Morna Neilsen and Sam Curtis have missed out from last year.

Kerr's central contract caps off a big year for the teenager, who made her international debut last November before playing every game for the White Ferns at the World Cup and finishing among the tournament's top ten wicket takers.

New Zealand's Amelia Kerr celebrates with team mates

Amelia Kerr celebrates taking a wicket for New Zealand. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Kerr, who is in Year 12 at Tawa College in Wellington, said gaining a central contract was a dream come true.

"I've always wanted to be a professional cricketer and to play for the White Ferns regularly," she said.

"The last year's all happened pretty fast, but I've really enjoyed the experience and I'm excited about the future."

White Ferns coach Haidee Tiffen said Kerr represented the next generation of New Zealand cricketers.

"I think we all know what a precocious talent Amelia is and she certainly showed that with her performances at the World Cup," said Tiffen.

"She's extremely skillful and confident, especially considering her age, and I think we're seeing that more and more in the players that are coming through."

Tiffen also congratulated the Auckland duo of Maddy Green and Anna Peterson on their new contracts, which she said were hard earned.

"Maddy's shown plenty of promise in her limited opportunities and we've been impressed by her all-round skills and athleticism.

"Anna's made it back onto the list through pure performance. She's taken her chances when they've come and obviously claimed that memorable hat-trick in our Twenty20 series win against Australia earlier this year."

Tiffen also pointed to 20-year-old Hannah Rowe and 25-year-old Leigh Kasperek, as rising stars who stood up at the recent World Cup.

"We've got a group of experienced players currently leading the way for the White Ferns but we know they won't be around forever.

"What the likes of Hannah, Leigh and Amelia showed in the UK is that there are players coming through who are ready to take up the mantle."

The White Ferns will play against against Pakistan next month in a tour to the UAE.

The list of players contracted by New Zealand Cricket:

Suzie Bates, Erin Bermingham, Sophie Devine, Maddy Green, Holly Huddleston, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Katey Martin, Thamsyn Newton, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Rachel Priest, Hannah Rowe, Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu.