Australia have announced a 15-player squad to make the trip to England and Wales at the end of June for the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup.
Australia are in search of a seventh World Cup trophy, having won six of the first ten tournaments, including the last edition in India back in 2013.
The squad contains some familiar names of Australian cricket, including veteran batsman Alex Blackwell, keeper Alyssa Healy, as well as superstars Meg Lanning and all-rounder Ellyse Perry.
National selector Shawn Flegler has praised the depth and quality of the squad, saying they have all the tools to take the crown once again.
“This is going to be one of the most tightly contested world cups in recent times and we have chosen 15 players that we believe are capable of leading Australia to victory,” he said.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for this team, with the chance to stake their claim as one of the most successful sporting teams in Australian sport.”
Australia will be taking a young squad over to the United Kingdon, with 11 of the 15 selected players under the age of 30, including two teenagers in Amanda-Jade Wellington and Belinda Vakarewa.
Vakerawa is one of two uncapped players in the squad, alongside bowler Sarah Aley.
“Belinda Vakarewa is an exciting young talent who has made the most of her opportunities that have come her way with the Shooting Stars and more recently during the three-week camp held in Brisbane. She adds some extra firepower with her pace and we’re excited to see what she can do,” said Flegler.
“Ashleigh Gardner is another young player that has really impressed and alongside Kristen Beams, Jess Jonassen and Amanda-Jade Wellington, will form a strong spin attack that provides a range of options with the ball.”
Despite an ankle injury at the beginning of 2017, Rachael Haynes has made the cut and is expected to be fully fit for the opening game against the West Indies on June 26.
It will be a grand final replay from the last tournament with the Carribean side, one of seven group games for Australia leading into the finals.
Australian squad for 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup