Alana King receives her maiden call-up for the Ashes as Australia announce 15-member squad
Alana King edged out Amanda-Jade Wellington to find a spot in the Australia squad for the upcoming Ashes, as the 15-member squad was announced on Wednesday (January 12). The toss up between the two spinners happened as a result of the absence of Georgia Wareham, who has been sidelined for a year after her ACL injury in the WBBL.
King’s maiden call-up comes after her successful season with Perth Scorchers which saw her pick 16 wickets at an average of 18.25 with an economy rate of 5.84. She was an integral member of the team as they lifted their maiden title.
Wellington, on the other hand, missed out despite being the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 23 scalps to her name at an average of 16.26. She also recorded the best-ever bowling figures in the tournament’s history with her 5 for 8 against Brisbane Heat. Wellington though found a spot in the Australia A squad, which will face England A, as the series runs correspondingly with the Ashes.
“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,” national selector Shawn Flegler said.
Apart from Wareham, left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux also missed out due to her stress fracture in the right foot which she suffered towards the end of the WBBL. “We will continue to monitor her (Molineux) in the lead up to the World Cup with the aim that she’s available for that tournament,” Flegler added.
The Ashes squad announcement also marks the comebacks of Rachael Haynes, Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen after all the three players missed the series against India at the start of the Australian summer. The returns of the experienced trio and a decrease in the squad size meant that Georgia Redmayne, Stella Campbell, Maitlan Brown and Molly Strano didn’t find a spot in the Ashes side but will be part of the Australia A squad. Redmayne will also lead the A squad with the likes of Elyse Villani and Grace Harris among the mix.
The Ashes begins with the three T20Is in Adelaide on January 20, 22 and 23. The teams will then travel to Canberra for the Test to be played from January 27 to 30 and end the multi-format series with the three ODIs on February 3, 6 and 8, the last two of which will be played in Melbourne. Meanwhile, Australia A and England A will face each other in three T20s in Adelaide itself on January 20, 21 and 23 before the three 50-over games on January 28, 30 and February 2, to be played in Canberra.
Australia squad for Ashes: Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Meg Lanning (captain), Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck.
Australia A squad: Georgia Redmayne (captain), Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Phoebe Litchfield, Katie Mack, Courtney Sippel, Molly Strano, Elyse Villani, Georgia Voll, Amanda-Jade Wellington.