New Zealand young gun Amelia Kerr has opened up about her mental health challenges, her love of the game and the much-debated run out of England’s Charlie Dean by India's Deepti Sharma.
In the latest episode of the 100% Cricket Podcast, Kerr joined Nasser Hussain and former international teammate Frankie Mackay while on tour in the West Indies - and ahead of a busy summer of cricket which includes a home ICC Women’s Championship series against Bangladesh, and a Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
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Mental health initiative
The 21-year-old all-rounder outlined that with good systems in place she has been able to find an equilibrium in terms of mental health.
“I’m in a place with cricket where I don’t get too high or too down on cricket because I know it’s a bit of a rollercoaster of a game, so you've got to stay level,” Kerr told the 100% Cricket Podcast.
“For me I'm just living my childhood dream, what I absolutely love, so at the end of the day if I go good or go bad I absolutely love the sport, I love training and I love every aspect of it.”
Kerr has been spending her limited free time working on a new mental health initiative of her own – Out of the Rough – and has applauded the likes of fellow cricketers who have helped in “normalising” the conversation.
“We’ve seen more people, the likes of Nat Sciver and Meg Lanning, and it’s awesome to see people being open about why they’re stepping away from the game,” Kerr said.
“(Out of the Rough) is very exciting because it's something I'm extremely passionate about and I guess for me that's the work and the field I want to go down.
“It’s something I want to speak openly about.”
Kerr's busy schedule
After the Caribbean tour, Kerr will return briefly to New Zealand, before travelling to Australia for the Women’s BBL.
“I'm very excited for my one day and then I head over to Brisbane for the women’s Big Bash which I'm excited for, having missed it last year, and the Brisbane Heat have been so good to me,” Kerr said.
“Then I head home for the Bangladesh series and then our Super Smash (New Zealand domestic T20 competition) and then into the (T20) World Cup, so it's very busy.”
Dean dismissal debated
Sharma’s run out of Dean in India’s ODI with England was a hot talking point on the podcast with Kerr and her compatriot Mackay not exactly seeing eye to eye.
Kerr said that while she wouldn’t do it herself that “it’s in the laws of the game … a genuine dismissal and then you’ve got to weigh up the options if that’s something you want to do in terms of the spirit of the game.”
“If it’s going to happen more, batters probably need to be more aware around them backing up,” Kerr added.
In response to Kerr’s take, fellow New Zealand cricketer Mackay said in response she once executed a run out of a non-striker while she was bowling multiple times in a season before being pulled up.
“Three scalps in one season was enough for Canterbury Cricket, my association, to say ‘please cease and desist, we don't wanna see that anymore’, so I have shelved it since but heck it might be the only way I can get ‘Melie (Kerr) out, so it might have to come back on the table for this year now it seems to be back in vogue!”
Mackay defended the run out, adding: “We want a game where there's a balance between bat and ball – that's what cricket’s all about so if it's heading too far one way with batters getting such an advantage with their running between the wickets, being able to crib a few extra yards, then yeah I can see definitely why it comes back in.”
Listen to the latest episode of the 100% Cricket Podcast to hear more from Amelia Kerr on Test cricket, her love of photography and who she rates as the upcoming stars of the game.
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