Opening batter Phoebe Litchfield has been included in Australia’s squad for the multi-format Women’s Ashes in England later this year alongside Kim Garth while fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck is part of the Australia A group that will tour concurrently.
Litchfield, 19, could also be eyeing a Test debut, particularly after the departure of Rachel Haynes when the Ashes gets underway with a five-day encounter at Trent Bridge from June 22. She will be an option to open the batting depending on where Australia want to use Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy.
Here are a few names that caught the eye in the latest Australian line-up
Litchfield made her international debut against India in December during the T20I series before bringing out her finest against Pakistan in her maiden ODI series where she smashed 154 runs from just 3 games.
Garth, the erstwhile Ireland allrounder who also made her first appearance for Australia in December, could also try and force her way into an already bedecked Australian pace unit that is adorned in its most gorgeous forms already.
Grace Harris is also a part of the squad but she hasn’t been handed over the Test cap yet. However, in all likelihood, she would mostly be a part of the shorter formats of the game, especially after a blazing display in the WPL.
This is what Shawn Flegler had to say about the new Australian faces
National selector, Shawn Flegler said, “Following the success of the side at the recent T20 World Cup, the focus now turns to the exciting challenge of retaining the Ashes away from home. 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.”
He further added, “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.”
Shedding some light about the inclusion of Tayla Vlaeminck, she said, “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.”
Flegler also added, how touring two teams are hugely beneficial adding, “It’s hugely beneficial to have an Australia A component to the tour and provide an opportunity for our developing players to test themselves in conditions they may not experience in Australia.”
He continued, “The nature of concurrent tours also offers flexibility and allows players to be available for and cross over into both squads, whether it be from a preparation perspective or to provide an opportunity at international level.”
Australia Ashes squad: Meg Lanning (capt), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham Australia A squad: Maitlan Brown, Lauren Cheatle, Maddy Darke, Heather Graham, Nicole Faltum, Tess Flintoff, Charli Knott, Kate Peterson, Courtney Sippel, Tayla Vlaeminck, Courtney Webb, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Tahlia Wilson