Wellington Blaze bowler Jess Kerr has been ruled out of the WHITE FERNS upcoming tour to Sri Lanka with a broken toe and will be replaced by Blaze teammate Leigh Kasperek.
Kerr was struck on the toe while batting at training early last week and the subsequent scan revealed a fracture that will require up to six weeks rehabilitation.
WHITE FERNS head coach Ben Sawyer said he was feeling for Kerr but was confident that she would make a swift recovery.
“Picking up an injury so close to departure for a tour is always disappointing,” said Sawyer.
“Jess is a key part of our bowling group in both formats and will be missed on what will be a challenging tour.
“Jess has been working really hard over the winter and we were excited to see how she would perform in new conditions for her, but we’re confident she will be back fit and ready for our next challenge after Sri Lanka.”
Kasperek rejoins the WHITE FERNS squad for the first time since the tour to England in 2021.
The Wellington Blaze offspinner has made 39 ODIs and 46 T20I appearances for the WHITE FERNS taking 140 wickets and is the WHITE FERNS’ second all-time leading T20I wicket-taker.
Kasperek was prolific with the ball for the Blaze last summer, finishing as second leading wicket-taker in both the Dream11 Super Smash and Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and was awarded the Wellington Blaze Player of the Season.
Sawyer said Kasperek’s recall showed the strength in depth in the WHITE FERNS spin bowling stocks.
“Leigh has had a challenging 18 months since the World Cup but has always been a player that has been on our radar,” said Sawyer.
“She’s been kept out of the side given the form of Fran (Jonas) and Eden (Carson) who’ve been performing consistently well and those spin positions have probably been the most hotly contested in our team.
“With Leigh, Fran, Eden and Melie (Kerr) we have strong depth in our spin bowling stocks, and ultimately that’s the level of depth we want to get to in all positions.
“Leigh brings a wealth of international experience to the group and I’m sure she will thrive in the Sri Lankan conditions if given an opportunity.”
Kasperek is currently in Scotland and will join up with the WHITE FERNS squad when they arrive in Sri Lanka.
The WHITE FERNS are currently gathered at a final training camp at NZC’s High Performance Centre in Lincoln and depart for Sri Lanka on Thursday.