White Ferns v England: Teenager Fran Jonas breaking down age barriers for international debut

The White Ferns will unveil a star of the future during their one-day series opener against England on Tuesday. 

At just 16, Auckland spin bowler Fran Jonas is likely to make her international cricket debut.

On Sunday, the team was visited by a Christchurch school, where - astonishingly - many of the students were older than her.

When a school visits a national team's training session, it's usually the players who feel old - but that wasn't the case for Jonas.

"I am missing a lot of school, but it's alright," she giggles.

Some Saint Margaret's College students are older than the new spinner.

"She's our age, you know, she's in our group," says one. "It's really cool to see girls that age really up there.”

Fellow spinner Amelia Kerr knows what that's like - she did the same thing just over four years ago.

"I'm keeping on Fran's case, making sure she's doing her school work while she's on tour," says Kerr.

So what's it like coming into the White Ferns, when some of your teammates are 20 years your senior?

"Really nerve wracking, but it's been really exciting," says Jonas. "The girls have all been really welcoming and stuff, which is good."

Some - like veteran all-round Amy Satterthwaite - even made their International debuts before Jonas was born.

"That’s pretty crazy," says Jonas. 

Even crazier is that she's closer in age to Satterthwaite’s newborn daughter, Grace, than she is to her teammate. 

"I've already had a lot of stick from the girls," says Satterthwaite, 34. "They've certainly had a bit of banter."

Coach Bob Carter is old enough to be her granddad.

"It's really good having her here," he says. "It's certainly made us all think about how we deliver our messages and things like that - she's been great."

With youth on her side, this could just be the start of a long career for Jonas, with the postponement of the World Cup to next year also potentially working in her favour.

"I’ll definitely try my best to be up for the opportunity," she says.

 It’s an opportunity most 16-year-olds can only dream of.

Join us on Tuesday for live updates of the White Ferns v England ODI