White Ferns star Amelia Kerr has opted to miss the team's upcoming tour to England, as she struggles with her mental health.
The 20-year-old is the major omission from the squad, which also saw maiden call-ups for Wellington Blaze wicketkeeper Jess McFadyen and Central Districts seamer Claudia Green.
“I love representing New Zealand and playing for the White Ferns,” Kerr said.
“However, after plenty of consultation with my support network, putting my mental health and well-being first is my number one priority.
“I’ve not taken this decision lightly - I feel this is best for me at the current time.”
White Ferns coach Bob Carter fully supported Kerr’s decision.
“Player welfare is paramount, particularly in today’s environment,” he said.
“It’s important to respect the needs of the athletes.
“Amelia has shown a lot of courage in making this decision and I look forward to her return to the White Ferns when the time is right.”
White Ferns captain Sophie Devine was philosophical about Kerr’s absence from the UK tour.
“We’re obviously going to miss Melie in England,” Devine said.
“As a cricketer she offers plenty in all three aspects of the game and is great fun to have around off the park.
“Every individual knows how tough the environment is at the moment with Covid-19; time away from family, living in a bio-bubble or quarantine periods.
“We’re really fortunate we have great support around us from both New Zealand Cricket and the CPA.
“It’s important we talk openly about it because it can get tough and we need to ensure our players, teammates and friends are looked after. We’re all wrapping around Melie and know she’ll make a comeback when she’s ready.”
The White Ferns depart for the UK on August 13 with the first T20I against England on September 2 at County Ground, Chelmsford.
White Ferns touring squad for England:
Sophie Devine (c) (Wellington Blaze)
Amy Satterthwaite (vc) (Canterbury Magicians)
Suzie Bates (Otago Sparks)
Lauren Down (Auckland Hearts)
Claudia Green* (Central Districts Hinds)
Maddy Green (Wellington Blaze)
Brooke Halliday (Northern Districts Spirit)
Hayley Jensen (Otago Sparks)
Jess Kerr (Wellington Blaze)
Katey Martin (wk) (Otago Sparks)
Leigh Kasperek (Wellington Blaze)
Rosemary Mair (Central Districts Hinds)
Jess McFadyen* (wk) (Wellington Blaze)
Thamsyn Newton (Wellington Blaze)
Hannah Rowe (Central Districts Hinds)
Lea Tahuhu (Canterbury Magicians)