Australia have unveiled their 15-player squad for the upcoming seven-game Women’s Ashes series.
The uncapped Alana King has beaten out Amanda-Jade Wellington for the leg-spinner’s spot in the squad and two big name players have returned from injury.
The 26-year-old is the only uncapped member of the squad, being her first inclusion in any Australian senior set up.
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Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt both missed the series against India late last year due tot injury and parental leave, but will both return to the squad.
“This was a tough selection process with so many players coming off strong WBBL tournaments, but we’re confident we’ve selected a balanced, all-round squad with players who can perform across all three formats,” National Selector Shawn Flegler said.
“It’s great to have Rachael Haynes and Megan Schutt back in the side having missed the India series due to personal reasons as well as Jess who’s recovered from a lower-leg injury; the experience those three bring to the side is invaluable during a series like the Ashes.”
Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham were both ruled out injured while seamer Stella Campbell also missed out after taking a record-breaking seven wicket haul for NSW.
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The 19-year-old put her best foot forward last Thursday, taking 7-25 against ACT in the WNCL, having played the last Women’s Test against India in October.
The figures were the Breakers’ best in WNCL history and the second best of any player in the competition’s history.
“The loss of Georgia Wareham to injury has presented Alana King with a great opportunity to show what she can do at this level and having improved in all facets of her game over the last few seasons, she’s well placed to play an important role in the series,” Flegler said.
“As expected, Sophie Molineux will miss this series due to the stress fracture in her right foot that she suffered at the back end of the WBBL, but we’ll continue to monitor her in the lead up to the World Cup with the aim that’s she’s available for that tournament.”
Campbell, Alongside Maitlan Brown, spinner Molly Strano and batter Georgia Redmayne have all been included in the strong 15-player Australia A squad.
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Young guns Phoebe Litchfield, Georgia Voll, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Courtney Sippel as well as ACT batsmen Katie Mack will all be involved in the Australia A side.
“While Georgia Redmayne, Stella Campbell, Maitlan Brown and Molly Strano have missed out from the India series due to a decrease in squad size, we know they’ll be able to lead the way with the ‘A’ side and will be able to slot straight into the side if the opportunity arises,” Flegler said.
“It’s great to see the likes of Elyse Villani and Grace Harris return to Australian colours as well as Heather Graham, Erin Burns and Amanda-Jade Wellington, while Katie Mack had a really strong WBBL and has been in good form for a while now.
“The younger players will also benefit from the large number of highly experience players in the side, with over half the squad having tasted international cricket.”
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Australia Ashes squad:
Darcie Brown (SA/Northern Districts CC)
Nicola Carey (TAS/North Hobart CC)
Hannah Darlington (NSW/Campbelltown-Camden CC)
Ashleigh Gardner (NSW/Bankstown CC)
Rachael Haynes (VC) (NSW/Sydney CC)
Alyssa Healy (NSW/Sydney CC)
Jess Jonassen (QLD/University of Queensland CC)
Alana King (WA/Midland Guildford CC)
Meg Lanning (C) (VIC/Box Hill CC)
Tahlia McGrath (SA/Glenelg CC)
Beth Mooney (QLD/Sandgate-Redcliffe CC)
Ellyse Perry (VIC/Dandenong CC)
Megan Schutt (SA/Sturt CC)
Annabel Sutherland (VIC/Prahan CC)
Tayla Vlaeminck (VIC/Plenty Valley CC)
Australia A squad:
Maitlan Brown (NSW/Sydney CC)
Erin Burns (NSW/Bankstown CC)
Stella Campbell (NSW/Northern District CC)
Nicole Faltum (VIC/Dandenong CC)
Tess Flintoff (VIC/Ringwood CC)
Heather Graham (TAS/Clarence CC)
Grace Harris (QLD/Western Suburbs CC)
Phoebe Litchfield (NSW/Penrith CC)
Katie Mack (ACT/Tuggeranong Valley CC)
Georgia Redmayne (C) (QLD/Gold Coast CC)
Courtney Sippel (QLD/Gold Coast CC)
Molly Strano (TAS/North Hobart CC/Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies CC)
Elyse Villani (TAS/North Hobart CC)
Georgia Voll (QLD/Sandgate-Redcliffe CC)
Amanda-Jade Wellington (SA/West Torrens CC)
Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes Schedule
January 20: 1st T20I, 6:40pm, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
January 22: 2nd T20I, 1:40pm, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
January 23: 3rd T20I, 1:40pm, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
January 27 – January 30: Test Match, 10am, Manuka Oval, Canberra
February 3: 1st ODI, 2:10pm, Manuka Oval, Canberra
February 6: 2nd ODI, 10:05am, Junction Oval, Melbourne
February 8: 3rd ODI, 10:05am, Junction Oval, Melbourne
Australia A v England A
January 20: 1st T20, 10:30am, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
January 21: 2nd T20, 2:30pm, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
January 23: 3rd T20, 9:30am, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide
January 28: 1st 50-over match, 10am, Phillip Oval, Canberra
January 30: 2nd 50-over match, 10am, Phillip Oval, Canberra
February 2: 3rd 50-over match, 10am, Phillip Oval, Canberra