Preview Australia Women Squad for ICC Women T20 World Cup 2023
Australia has made a surprise selection in their squad for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, by naming leg-spinner Georgia Wareham, who has recently returned from an injury layoff. Wareham was chosen over fellow leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington and will replace Nicola Carey in the team that defeated India 4-1 in a T20I series last year. Wareham has not played a T20 match since October 2021, when she ruptured her ACL, and her only match practice before the World Cup will be through the Women’s National Cricket League 50-over competition.
Fellow leg-spinner Alana King is expected to be the preferred choice in the starting XI, while all-rounder Ash Gardner is likely to be the other spin option in the predicted team. This means that Georgia Wareham may have to wait for her chance to play in the starting XI, despite her inclusion in the squad.
Skipper Meg Lanning’s return to the squad means that Phoebe Litchfield has been left out as the other change to the squad. Alyssa Healy has been named in the squad despite a calf strain that kept her out of multiple matches of the India tour. Healy will not participate in the upcoming three home ODIs against Pakistan, but is expected to be available for both the bilateral T20I series against the same team and the T20 World Cup defense.
National selector Shawn Flegler acknowledged the difficulty in selecting the squad due to the depth of talent in Australia’s player pool. Flegler said, “It’s always tough to narrow a squad down to just 15 players, but we’re confident we’ve picked a well-balanced side that’s well placed for the series against Pakistan and ready to challenge for a third consecutive T20 title. Meg and Georgia bring a wealth of experience to the group, which is always crucial during major tournaments. Georgia in particular, has had a tough run of injuries, but she’s shown a great deal of resilience and her return is a real boost for the side.”
Australia’s 2020 T20 World Cup winning squad will see nine members returning to defend their title, including Tahlia McGrath, Darcie Brown, and Heather Graham, who will be on their first T20 World Cup tour. Grace Harris also earns her first T20 World Cup squad selection, after being a late withdrawal from the 2016 squad. Additionally, Kim Garth will be making her first T20 World Cup appearance for Australia, having played for Ireland in the 2016 and 2018 editions. Australia will begin their World Cup defense on February 12th against New Zealand, followed by group games against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the host team, South Africa.
Squad: Meg Lanning (c), Alyssa Healy (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham