Jess Kerr. Image: Photosport

Aspiring WHITE FERNS to play Australia Under-19 Women

Providing a better high-performance pathway for female cricketers is the basis for a 14-strong women's New Zealand Development squad named to take on the Australian Under-19 in four matches at Lincoln next month.

The initial approach came from Cricket Australia and it’s hoped to have a reciprocal series later this year.

The New Zealand squad, including five current or former WHITE FERNS in Katie Gurrey, Rosemary Mair, Jess Watkin, Lauren Down and Thamsyn Newton, is not a strictly U19 squad by age; the focus being more on developing young talent.

Jess Kerr of Wellington, the older sister of White Ferns star Amelia Kerr has won a place in the squad, which comprises four Auckland players, three from each of Wellington and Central Districts, two from Canterbury and one apiece from Otago and Northern Districts.

Squad member Bella Armstrong was last season's Secondary School Girls’ Young Cricketer of the Year. Image: Photosport

"It’s based on potential and trying to provide a succession plan for our future international teams,’’ New Zealand Development programme lead Ant Sharp said of the concept.

"It’s an opportunity for us to learn a bit about them and for them to learn more about training and playing.

''It’s also about understanding the players' strengths so we can try and develop their game further and see how potentially they can fit into their roles at international level.’’

The squad was chosen by the national women’s selectors, Kirsty Bond, Emily Drumm and Haidee Tiffen, and will assemble at Lincoln on March 10. Matt Bell has been appointed Head Coach of the squad; assisted by Nick White and Kari Carswell.

A captain has yet to be named.

New Zealand Development squad to play three 50-over matches against Australia U19 women on March 12, 14 and 16, and a T20 on March 17 at Lincoln:

Bella Armstrong (Auckland), Georgia Atkinson (Central Districts), Lauren Down (Auckland), Katie Gurrey (Northern Districts), Polly Inglis (Otago), Arlene Kelly (Auckland), Jess Kerr (Wellington), Rosemary Mair (Central Districts), Jess McFayden (Wellington), Thamsyn Newton (Wellington), Jacinta Savage (Canterbury), Saachi Shahri (Auckland), Jessica Simmons (Canterbury), Jess Watkin (Central Districts).

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