The Southern Stars have named their squad for the Women’s Ashes starting next month in England and three exciting players are in line for their first Baggy Greens.
The selectors revealed a squad of 15 for the tour of Britain between July 21 and August 31, including new faces Nicole Bolton, Kristen Beams, and Jess Jonassen, who will be competing for their first Test caps.
The Southern Stars will play one Test, three one-day internationals, and three T20 matches against the old enemy to decide the Ashes, which England has claimed the last two series.
The Women’s Ashes are decided on a points system, with a Test victory worth four points, and a limited overs triumph worth two – and chair of selectors Julie Savage hopes the inexperienced trio can make an impact on the Test arena.
“Jess Jonassen will give the team a versatile all-round option having developed from a successful short-form bowler to a match-winning allrounder with her consistent ability to clear the fence when batting,” Savage said.
“Nicole Bolton produced a memorable ODI debut in the last Ashes series in January 2014, bringing up a century at the MCG, and has followed this with a number of big scores, proving she can bat for a very long time with great concentration.
“Kristen Beams (pictured right) has come into the group as a mature player having dealt with a previous shoulder injury to produce wonderful results domestically. She is a leg-spin bowler who can be a wicket-taking weapon in a Test match.”
Beams made her limited overs debut against Pakistan last year but is desperate to make her first Test appearance on cricket’s grandest stage.
“It really is the ultimate, to be playing in an Ashes series away from home. Everyone is really excited about what might be,” Beams said.
Meg Lanning (Victoria, captain), Alex Blackwell (NSW, vice-captain), Kristen Beams (Victoria), Nicole Bolton (Victoria), Jess Cameron (Victoria), Sarah Coyte (NSW), Rene Farrell (ACT), Holly Ferling (Queensland), Alyssa Healy (NSW), Jess Jonassen (Queensland), Delissa Kimmince (Queensland), Erin Osborne (NSW), Ellyse Perry (NSW), Megan Schutt (South Australia), Elyse Villani (Victoria).
July 21: ODI, Taunton
July 23: ODI, Bristol
July 26: ODI, Worcester
August 11-14: Test, Canterbury
August 26: T20, Chelmsford
August 28: T20, Hove
August 31: T20, Cardiff
– TOM SMITH
Image credit: Twitter