Just 16, and already has Hearts in a spin

LockerRoom:

She may have just signed on the dotted line of a contract with New Zealand Cricket, but Fran Jonas still has to ask her mum or dad to drive her to training.

Jonas has been recognised as a potential star of the game in New Zealand, thanks to the valuable weapon at her fingertips. But at the tender age of 16, she’s only just got her hands on a steering wheel with her learner’s licence.

The left-arm orthodox spinner is the youngest of eight players from around the country who’ve been given development contracts with NZ Cricket for the approaching summer season.

A breakout star in her debut – at 15 – for the Auckland Hearts women’s side last season, Jonas will now come under the guidance of some of the best coaches in the country, and just as crucially, have her well-being as an elite sportswoman taken care of too.

It was a surprise, she says, to be seen as a prospective White Fern when she’s still in Year 11 at Baradene College. “But it’s so cool,” Jonas says. “I just want to develop my game and learn from other people.”

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