Amazon Prime and New Zealand Cricket have come together and going forward for the next six years, all the matches played by New Zealand men’s and women’s cricket teams will be streamed live on Amazon Prime. To commemorate this move, in an exclusive chat with Female Cricket, New Zealand’s star all-rounder Amelia Kerr expressed her thoughts on this partnership between Amazon Prime and New Zealand Cricket as well as shared some memories from her playing days.
Kerr, 21, made her debut in 2016 against Pakistan and after a year and a half she broke the 21-year old record of Australia’s Belinda Clark to become the highest run-scorer in a women’s ODI inning. The right-handed batter muscled 232 off 145 balls against Ireland in Dublin on June 13, 2018. She also became the youngest cricketer, across men and women, to score a double century in any format.
Amelia said, “Looking back at that day, it feels that it happened a long time ago. I always wanted to be a genuine all-rounder. When I was given the opportunity to open the batting I wanted to make the most of it. I stitched some crucial partnerships with Amy Satterthwaite and Leigh Kasperek. I was very clear in my mind that day; see ball, hit ball. It was indeed a special day. I am sure when I am a bit older and when I retire I will definitely look back at that day.”
In the same match, she also picked up a five-wicket haul. She averred, “After the batting innings, I was a bit tired. Between innings I took a small nap. When we came out to bowl, I thought I would simply stand in the first slip so that I wouldn’t have to run around (smiles). But then in a matter of a few overs, our captain Suzie Bates asked me to warm up and have a bowl. It was a day when everything went right for me. I don’t think I will be able to repeat that kind of performance again.”
Amelia hails from a family full of cricketers. Her maternal grandfather, Bruce Murray was a former New Zealand Test batsman, her parents Robbie and Jo played for Wellington and now her elder sister Jessica Kerr represents the White Ferns. Amelia shared, “I am very lucky to have so many cricketers in the family. Christmas day gets very competitive (smiles) as we have all the cousins playing cricket in our backyard. I feel blessed to have such an amazing set of parents. They are constant support and I don’t think I could be where I am today without their support. Also, it is great to have my sister Jess playing with me in the same team. It is awesome to see her do well in her cricket. It is wonderful to be traveling with her all around the world for cricket. It is like having a home with you while traveling.”
A fine leg spinner today, she was encouraged by her father to pick up leg-spin. Amelia recalled, “When I was young, I tried to bowl pace. I wasn’t that good. I bowled a lot of full tosses. One day when I was practicing with my dad, I thought of trying spin. I bowled off-spin as well as leg-spin. He told me that leg-spin was more natural to me. Ever since that day, I took up leg-spin. At Wellington in the cricket academy where I practiced, my coach and my other support network helped me hone the skill. Leg spin is a difficult craft and I am still working towards improving it.”
Last year in August 2022, the all-rounder took a break from cricket to concentrate on her mental health. After a break of 18 months, she is back in the thick of things and is looking all good now.
She said, “Maddy Green, Sophie Devine and Lesley Elvidge, along with my family have helped me to overcome my mental health issues. I will start with Maddy. She is like an elder sister and during our time with Brisbane Heat in the WBBL last year she was there for me. She is someone I can trust. I was grateful to have her then. She had a calming influence on me. Next, Lesley, who works with the New Zealand Players’ association, was also very helpful. She has a heart of gold. She helped me find a psychologist during that time. She also heard me patiently and had a plan for me even when I didn’t have one. About Sophie, we all know that she had also taken a two-month break from cricket to concentrate on her mental health. It was important to have her around back then. I could relate to her. She was a huge support. Last but not least my family, they have been there with me right through. At first, I didn’t share anything with them since I wanted to keep them away from this. I wanted to protect my family. But after a few days from the time I announced that I will be taking a break, they showed full support and love to me. I am grateful to have them.”
2022 is going to be an action-packed year for New Zealand women’s cricket. First India will tour New Zealand then the White Ferns will host the World Cup and after that, there will be Commonwealth Games in July. Amelia said, “It is a huge year coming up. I am very excited. I love playing in New Zealand and I love playing against India. They are a quality side and they are fun off the field too. I am looking forward to having them home for cricket and I think that will be good preparation for us before the World Cup. Not often do you get a chance to play a home World Cup.
The last time New Zealand hosted a World Cup was in 2000, the year in which I was born and now New Zealand will host it again. Also to see cricket being put in the Commonwealth Games is exciting. This will certainly help women’s cricket to go from strength to strength.”
Before signing off, Amelia expressed her happiness with the partnership between New Zealand Cricket and Amazon Prime. She exclaimed, “It is amazing to have a partnership with Amazon Prime. It is a big company. This will definitely help the game to grow. More and more people will be aware of New Zealand men’s and women’s cricket.”
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I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.