New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr will return to Brisbane Heat for the next season of Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) after missing last year's tournament due to her break from the game to manage and focus on her mental health. Leg-spinner Kerr has taken 31 wickets in 30 matches and made 204 runs with the bat since signing up for Brisbane in 2019 and will reunite with Australia left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen to form a formidable spin combination. "We were so pleased to see Melie back smiling and enjoying cricket again and are really looking forward to having her join us for the WBBL. Her batting during the World Cup was impressive in spite of some challenging conditions and it will be great to see her continue to develop her skills further," said head coach Ashley Noffke in a statement. "We're excited to have her back in the squad this summer and I think her experience and insights will be very valuable for the group.
Our young players will really enjoy the chance to learn from her as they play alongside her," added Noffke. In the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand this year, Kerr scored 201 runs at an average of 33.50 and claimed nine wickets, averaging 31.77 in seven matches. In the run-up to the World Cup at home, Kerr made 353 runs at an average of 117.66, including three half-centuries and a hundred apart from picking seven wickets in five-match ODI series against India. She was also named women's ODI Player of the Year at the 2022 New Zealand Cricket awards. "Ash and the team were in regular contact while I was having a break, and the Heat have been nothing but supportive.
I kept an eye on how they went last year and so I'm looking forward to coming back to Brisbane and having some fun with the Heat girls. The WBBL is an exciting tournament and I'm keen to make the most of the opportunity this summer," said Kerr. Kerr will also be representing London Spirit in the second edition of The Hundred in England and will also be involved in New Zealand's matches during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Brisbane had reached the semi-finals of last year's WBBL before being knocked out of the tournament by Adelaide Strikers in the Eliminator.