On Friday, Cricket Australia announced an 18-member women’s squad for the Test and ODI series against New Zealand, scheduled to take place in September. The two sides will clash in three ODIs and as many T20Is with the Rose Bowl Trophy on the line. Australia are the current holders of it, captured by beating their Trans-Tasman rivals in their previous encounter last year.
National selector Shawn Flegler stated that they have selected an extended squad, considering the COVID-19 restrictions. Furthermore, the players have got the nod based on their performances for Australia and Australia A over the last two years. Fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck missed out on selection while Ellyse Perry has made it to the ranks subject to fitness.
“We’ve selected a slightly larger squad than usual because of a number of COVID-related considerations and, with no matches leading in, players have been picked on performances both for Australia and Australia A over the last 12-to-24 months,” Shawn stated as quoted by News 18.
Shawn Flegler conceded that Tayla suffered a setback from a foot injury suffered ahead of the ICC World T20 in March, which means that she will not be part of the forthcoming series and women’s BBL too. Flegler added that since the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand stands postponed, they will take the conservative route, allowing her as much time she needs to get back to fitness. As for Perry, the selector admitted they would continue to monitor her progress.
“Tayla has had a slight setback in her return from the foot injury she suffered ahead of the T20 World Cup which means she’ll miss this series as well as this season’s rebel WBBL tournament.
“Our initial plans were to get her back for the 50-over World Cup in New Zealand but now that’s been postponed we’ll take a conservative approach with her and give her as much time as she needs to get her body right without the pressure of a timeframe. Ellyse is progressing well from a significant hamstring injury and we want to give her every chance to be available for selection, so we’ll continue to monitor her progress over the coming weeks,” Flegler conceded.
Fast bowler Belinda Vakarewa joins the squad, who could not be part of Australia’s victorious World T20 campaign. At the same time, Maitlan Brown makes it for the first time, having impressed through her display in the national performance squad and Australia A.
“The door has really opened for players like Maitlan (Brown), who joins the squad for the first time, and fellow fast-bowler Belinda (Vakarewa) who has previously represented Australia. Belinda only just missed out on T20 World Cup selection while Maitlan has impressed through her time in the national performance squad and Australia A.” he said.
Flegler commended the challenge that New Zealand always gives to Australia and lauded all the people to make this possible amid such uncertain times. As far as the venues go, New South Wales and Queensland have been booked; however, Cricket Australia possesses the right to change it, owing to the pandemic situation.
“New Zealand always present a great challenge and this series will be no different. While nothing is guaranteed in the current climate it’s pleasing to be able to prepare for a series like this and thanks must go to all the people working behind the scenes to make it possible,” the 48-year old added.
Australia women’s squad:
Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry (subject to fitness), Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa