Cookies and cream has never tasted so good for new White Ferns cricketer Fran Jonas.
The 16-year-old was out for a drive around Auckland Domain with one of her friends when coach Bob Carter called to deliver the news that the Auckland Hearts spinner was one of two new faces in the New Zealand women’s cricket squad for the upcoming series against England.
“He just said it and I was like, woah, I didn’t know what to say.”
So, instead, Jonas and her friend went for an ice cream, cookies and cream flavour.
But, in all seriousness, it’s a dream come true for the Baradene College student.
“Playing cricket it’s been like a bit of a dream for a while and, actually getting selected, it’s insane,” she said.
“It means a lot, I’m super excited for the opportunity.”
Jonas is the fourth-highest wicket taker in the Hallyburton Johnston Shield and will be a key cog in Auckland’s hopes of making the Twenty20 Super Smash final, when they play the Wellington Blaze in the elimination final tomorrow.
She’ll now get a wealth of exposure to the country’s best women’s cricketers.
She’s played against them, but playing and training with them is something else.
Especially having looked up to fellow spinner Amelia Kerr, who also made her international debut at 16.
“She’s obviously a really good player and because she’s so young, I feel like I can almost relate to her a little bit,” Jonas said in regards to Kerr.
“I’ll be really cool to get to know her.”
Jonas caught the eye of White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine, who revealed the youngster’s been in their sights for a few years.
“It’s huge. We certainly know the potential that she has, I guess she’s been on our radar for a little while now and we’ve probably let her just bubble away at age group stuff and obviously here with the Hearts,” Devine explained.
“Being a left-arm spinner we don’t have too many of them floating around New Zealand, so (she) certainly offers a point of difference for us.”
Other notable inclusions in the squad are fellow new face in Northern Districts Spirit captain Brooke Halliday and a recall for Frankie Mackay after a long-term Achilles injury.
The White Ferns will assemble in Christchurch next Wednesday for a training camp ahead of their first ODI against England at Hagley Oval on February 23.
New Zealand ODI squad:
Sophie Devine (Wellington) (captain), Natalie Dodd (Central Districts), Maddy Green (Wellington), Brooke Halliday* (Northern Districts), Hayley Jensen (Otago), Fran Jonas* (Auckland), Amelia Kerr (Wellington), Jess Kerr (Wellington), Frankie Mackay (Canterbury), Katey Martin (Otago), Hannah Rowe (Central Districts), Amy Satterthwaite (Canterbury) (vice-captain) and Lea Tahuhu (Canterbury).
*denotes new cap