On Wednesday, Cricket Australia (CA) announced the 15-member squad for the upcoming multi-format Women’s Ashes against England, which is scheduled to begin with the first T20I in Adelaide on January 20.
Rookie spinner Alana King has been picked ahead of fellow leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington in the outfit. King bagged 16 wickets in the recently concluded Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) for champions Perth Scorchers.
Senior players Jess Jonassen and Megan Schutt have made a comeback in the squad after they missed the series against India due to injury and parental leave, respectively. Schutt has 204 international wickets to her name in 142 matches, while Jonassen has taken 192 wickets in 162 games.
However, the hosts will miss the services of Georgia Wareham (ACL injury) and Sophie Molineux (foot injury), who are injured.
“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,” said national selector Shawn Flegler as quoted by cricket.com.au.
“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,” he added.
Notably, Australia have held the Ashes since winning 10-6 on a points basis in England in 2015. Then, the 2017 series Down Under ended in an 8-8 draw before Australia thrashed the arch-rivals 12-4 in England in 2019.
The multi-format Ashes starts with three three-match T20I series followed by a one-off Test match and then a three-match ODI leg. When it comes to the points system, the triumphs in T20Is and ODIs are worth two points each, while a victory in the Test match will earn a side four points.
Here is Australia’s Women Ashes squad:
Meg Lanning (captain), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck.