Brooke Halliday and Fran Jonas – who are they?

Brooke Halliday (l), Fran Jonas © Getty Images/Phototek/Women's CricZone

New Zealand’s home series against England begins with three ODIs starting on Tuesday (February 23). The hosts named a 13-member squad last week with Frances Mackay, who last played an ODI in 2014, making the cut along with a couple of uncapped players in Brooke Halliday and Fran Jonas.

Halliday carried her good domestic form in to the warm-up clashes against the touring English side. She scored 26 and picked up a wicket in the first match before hitting 79 in New Zealand XI’s win in the second. Left-arm spinner Jonas, on the other hand, was economical in both the matches, returning a wicket in each – Natalie Sciver and Amy Jones were her victims.

Here’s a bit more about the uncapped duo:

Halliday is a southpaw – let that sink in

Halliday has had a stellar beginning to the Hallyburton Johnstone (HBJ) Shield, New Zealand’s domestic 50-over competition, scoring 264 runs in six innings – the second-most so far – at an average of over 52.80. So far, with six rounds of the competition done, there are 18 players who have scored over 100 runs in the competition. But Halliday is the only left-hand batter among them. She also picked nine wickets in the just-concluded Super Smash.

“It has its perks with the lefty wides and quite nice to be a little different,” she says. Some rarity, that!

Played multiple sports

Halliday was born in Hamilton but lives in Auckland. She grew up in a sporting family. Her siblings played cricket and rugby at various levels. Her younger brother, Jarrod, is a contracted Counties Manukau Rugby Player. Her father also plays cricket and often indulges in a game of golf with her uncles.

Halliday played soccer as a pastime but mostly played cricket. She grew up watching her father and uncles play, before then playing in the backyard with her siblings. She then began playing club cricket from the age of five.

ALSO READ: WCZ Cricket Cuisine Issue-5: Uncertainty over India’s return continues

Initial cricketing days

Halliday began playing at Manukau City Cricket Club, a club which has strong ties with the Halliday family – her grandfather, great uncle, father, uncles and siblings all played there. Now she plays for Howick Pakuranga Cricket Club in Auckland. Her selection to Northern Spirit was quite unusual. She had moved to Auckland from Christchurch and was called up to fill the team for an under-21 trial. There she was spotted and picked up for the Spirit side.

Jonas, the teenager

All of 16 years old, the left-arm spinner plays for Auckland Hearts in the Super Smash and had eight wickets to show in the latest season. In the first six rounds of the HBJ Shield, she has picked nine wickets, the most for Auckland.

Jonas took to the sport since the age of five following her brother and also played tennis, soccer and netball. She plays for Cornwall Cricket Club and started bowling spin ever since she loved watching the ball turn, while mucking around at training with her teammates. She’s built an image of staying calm under pressure and delivering the goods, as was evident with her performance with the ball in last year’s HBJ Shield final. Jonas picked up three wickets – two of them post the 40th over – for just 45 runs in the title-clash, helping Hearts beat Northern Districts by 67 runs.

She was also one among the eight players given development contracts by New Zealand Cricket

Idols

While Halliday admires Stephen Fleming, former New Zealand men’s captain, a fellow southpaw, Jonas looks up to former Kiwi Daniel Vettori, the most successful bowler in ODIs and the most successful spinner in Tests for New Zealand.