Heather Graham approved as temporary replacement for Ashleigh Gardner

The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 has approved Heather Graham as a replacement for Ashleigh Gardner in the Australia squad.

Graham, who has played a solitary ODI for Australia against Sri Lanka in Brisbane in October 2019, is a temporary replacement for Gardner, who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is undergoing a period of isolation.

A COVID replacement can be temporary, in that once the player has recovered, she would be eligible to return to the squad in position of the travelling reserve that replaced her.

The replacement of a player requires the approval of the Event Technical Committee before the replacement player can be officially added to the squad.

Gardner is a key player for Australia and was the recipient of the prestigious Belinda Clark award at the 2022 Australian Cricket Awards. The 24-year-old allrounder had a terrific 2021 with her all-round performances for Australia and achieved her first Belinda Clark award earlier this year.

Gardner missed Australia’s opening match against England and would also have missed the team’s second match of the World Cup against Pakistan on Tuesday (March 8). Australia will face hosts New Zealand in the third match on Sunday (March 13), the day after Gardner’s mandatory isolation period is over.

Graham was one of the two reserves named by Australia in their squad, with the other being batter-wicketkeeper Georgia Redmayne.

The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 comprises Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events (Chair), Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager Umpires and Referees (ICC Representative), Andrea Nelson, LOC CEO (Host Representative), Catherine Campbell (Host Representative), Sana Mir (Independent), Nasser Hussain (Independent).