Melbourne [Australia]: Pacer Lauren Cheatle has made a comeback in the Australian women’s cricket team as they announced a 13-member squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series against New Zealand, beginning February 22 at Perth.
Cheatle has been impressive during the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) where she took 14 wickets for Sydney Sixers along with a total of seven wickets in the five matches of recently concluded Women’s National Cricket League.
Top-order batswoman Nicole Bolton was unavailable for selections as she continues her break from the game that started during WBBL. Fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck also misses out as she is still recovering from a knee injury.
Talking about the selections, national selector Shawn Flegler said they have opted to go with a squad very similar to the one that completed a clean sweep against Pakistan as well as winning the T20 World Cup.
“Selectors have opted to go with a squad very similar to the one that completed a clean sweep against Pakistan as well as winning the T20 World Cup late last year, with Nicole Bolton and Tayla Vlaeminck both unavailable for selection. Nicole is unavailable continuing her leave taken during the Big Bash, while the decision was made not to rush Tayla back from a knee injury that ruled her out of the back-end of the Big Bash and last round of domestic cricket,” Flegler said.
“Lauren Cheatle really impressed on the Australia A tour to India in October, and it’s pleasing to see her back playing regular cricket after a string of injuries and we’re confident that her ability to swing the ball will be a challenge for New Zealand,” she added.
Middle-order player Elyse Villani continues to recover well from a hamstring injury that she had sustained during the WBBL and has been picked up in the squad.
Team Physiotherapist, Kate Mahony said that the progress is going as per planned and that they are expecting Elyse to be fully fit by the start of the series.
“Elyse is recovering from a hamstring injury. All progressing as planned, Elyse will tick off the final aspects of her rehabilitation over the next week and we expect that she will be fully fit for the start of the NZ series,” Kate said.
Selectors also named the players who will take part in this year’s Governor-General’s XI match against New Zealand on 28 February at Drummoyne Oval.
Following is the full Australia squad for ODI series against New Zealand:
Meg Lanning (capt), Rachael Haynes, Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Georgia Wareham.
Alex Blackwell (capt), Erin Burns, Josie Dooley, Nicole Faltum, Heather Graham, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Rachel Rae-Martin (Australian Defence Force), Annabel Sutherland, Rachel Trenaman, Belinda Vakarewa.