Australia’s women’s cricket team has announced its squad for the upcoming Women’s Ashes cricket series in England, with 19-year-old batter Phoebe Litchfield included representing the only change to the squad that won the Twenty20 World Cup last month in South Africa, with her inclusion replacing Heather Graham. Litchfield, who scored back-to-back half-centuries in one-day internationals against Pakistan in January, is among three potential test debutants in the squad of 15, including Kim Garth and Grace Harris. The series sees Australia looking to retain the ashes, beginning at Trent Bridge from 22 June, with three T20s and three ODIs to follow.
Cricket Australia’s head of performance (women’s cricket) and national selector, Shawn Flegler, has confirmed that Litchfield is in fact a long-term player for Australia, and a deliberate inclusion in the squad. As he stated “Phoebe Litchfield has taken her game to the next level in the past 12 months, we view her as a long-term player for Australia and it’s pleasing to reward her progress with selection in an Ashes squad.”
There is also a 13-player squad being sent from Australia for the series comprising of Australia A, which includes Heather Graham, who did not make the senior squad; Tayla Vlaeminck is also part of this squad, working her way back to full bowling fitness following a foot injury sustained during last year’s Ashes.
In further comments related to the senior squad, Flegler said “We’ve been fortunate to have a consistent side across all formats over the past couple of years and as a result we have selected a similar group to the squad which won the T20 World Cup in February…Tayla Vlaeminck is progressing in her rehabilitation and is working back towards full bowling fitness; she is a highly-regarded talent and is certainly part of our plans moving forward”.