Australia pick uncapped spinner King in Women’s Ashes squad

Alana King wins battle with fellow spinner Ananda-Jade Wellington for spot in Australia squad; Ashes holders begin trophy defence against England on January 20, with first of three T20 internationals; standalone Test match and three one-day internationals to follow

Last Updated: 12/01/22 8:33am

Uncapped leg-spinner Alana King had been named in Australia's Ashes squad to face England
Uncapped leg-spinner Alana King had been named in Australia’s Ashes squad to face England

Australia have named uncapped leg-spinner Alana King in a 15-player squad for the multi-format Women’s Ashes series against England.

King, who picked up 16 wickets for Perth Scorchers as they won the 2021-22 Women’s Big Bash League, has been given her chance following injuries to fellow spinners Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham.

The 26-year-old is preferred to Amanda-Jade Wellington, who bagged a tournament-leading 22 wickets in the Big Bash, for Adelaide Strikers.

Australia have held the Women’s Ashes since winning 10-6 on points in England in 2015, with the 2017 series Down Under ending in an 8-8 draw before Australia crushed Heather Knight’s side 12-4 in England in 2019.

This year’s series was moved forward a week from its initial start date in order to allow Australia and England to complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine in New Zealand ahead of the 50-over World Cup from March 4.

The Ashes begins with three T20 internationals (January 20, 22 and 23) followed by a four-day Test match January 27-30) and then three one-day internationals (February 3, 6 and 8).

Victories in the T20 internationals and ODIs are worth two points each, while a win in the Test match earns a side four points.

Australia’s Ashes squad also includes Rachael Haynes, Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen, who return after missing the series at home to India earlier this year.

Wellington, meanwhile, is part of a 15-player Australia A squad that will take on England A in six white-ball matches.

Heather Knight will captain England in the Ashes
Heather Knight will captain England in the Ashes

King: I’ve got full confidence in my game

King has no experience in long-form cricket but says she will be “ready to go” if she is selected in the Test match at Canberra.

She said: “I’ve got full confidence in my game. [The selectors] believe and I believe that I can play in any format of the game. Whatever it is, I know I’ll be ready to go whenever I get the call up.

“Saturday afternoon I got a phone call from the head selector [telling me I was in the squad]. It’s probably been the happiest day of my life.”

Australia national selector Shawn Flegler said: “Alana has great opportunity to show what she can do at this level.

“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.

“While Georgia Redmayne, Stella Campbell, Maitlan Brown and Molly Strano have missed out from the India series due to a decrease in squad size, we know they’ll be able to lead the way with the A side and will be able to slot straight into the side if the opportunity arises.”

Australia Women Ashes squad

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 Women 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.

England Women Ashes squad

Heather Knight, Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt.

England Women A squad

Emily Arlott, Lauren Bell, Alice Capsey, Alice Davidson-Richards, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Eve Jones, Beth Langston, Emma Lamb, Bryony Smith, Ellie Threlkeld, Issy Wong.

Women’s Ashes fixtures

Jan 20: 1st T20 (Adelaide)

Jan 22: 2nd T20 (Adelaide)

Jan 23: 3rd T20 (Adelaide)

Jan 27-30: Test Match (Canberra)

Feb 3: 1st ODI (Canberra)

Feb 6: 2nd ODI (Melbourne)

Feb 8: 3rd ODI (Melbourne)

Source : Sky Sports