Melie Kerr creates more College Sport history

 

By Linda Wood

Creating sporting history is not too new for Melie Kerr. 


A few years ago the then 13-year-old Kerr became the youngest player to score a ton at the Basin Reserve. Now the Tawa College first XI player can add the first girl to bring up the magical three figures while playing in the College Sport Wellington premier boys’ youth grade to that list. It was also the first time a girl had scored a century on the Wellington College number one ground.


Kerr scored 110, hitting one six and 12 fours, off 108 balls against the Wellington College 2nd XI.


“It was a pretty special day for me ,” Kerr said.


“I was just glad that I could help contribute to the win when I can’t be there for them [the team] all the time.”


That century came a week after she had her first domestic ton for the Wellington Blaze. That ton also re-writing the record book with Kerr the youngest player to score a century in domestic first class cricket. White Ferns captain, Suzie Bates was the previous record holder. Bates was 18 when she scored her century


Kerr is not the first Wellington schoolgirl to play in the premier youth grade – Sophie Devine opened that door a few years earlier while also at Tawa College. Playing against the boys is also an experience that the 2016 College Sport Wellington premier sportsgirl of the year says is ideal preparation for  her cricketing pursuits.


“Playing against the boys has been the best practice I could ask for,” Kerr said.


“I get to play good tough cricket every weekend that challenges me. The boys cricket has improved my cricket lots.”


In grading games for the Tawa College side Kerr dominated with scores of 92, an unbeaten 57 and in a third game she scored another half century.


Kerr, who is in year 12 at Tawa College, will see just how much her game has improved with her on international duty for the White Ferns series against Australia next week. Kerr made her debut for the national side last year, only learning of her inclusion a few days after celebrating her 16th birthday. 


“I was a little but surprised that it had all happened so soon but I was excited for the challenge and felt ready for what was ahead.”


Kerr also proved she could keep a secret having received a phone call from selector Kirsty Bond a few days before and while she did tell give her immediate family a heads up on her inclusion and a double reason to celebrate her birthday the extended family and friends had to wait.


However, while her international debut came a lot earlier than some may have expected it didn’t come as too much of a surprise with her family background in the game – Dad, Robbie, and Mum, Jo, both played representative cricket and former international player Bruce Murray is her Poppa.


“My family is a great supportive team for me.”


“Dad is my biggest mentor with cricket and he has really helped me understand the tactical side of the game and if there is anything I need to touch up on he will let me know and I’ll have a debrief after most games.


“Poppa doesn’t coach me or anything he just supports me in what I do and watches when he can.”