Teen sensation Phoebe Litchfield is in line for a potential Test debut after being named in Australia’s squad for the women’s Ashes.
Litchfield is the one new face brought into the 15-woman squad for the multi-format series, with selectors retaining all players who won the Twenty20 World Cup.
The 19-year-old’s call-up comes after a stellar home summer, during which she was dismissed only once in her first three ODIs against Pakistan and totalled 154 runs.
Long regarded as one of the country’s best young talents, Litchfield also averaged 49.87 for New South Wales in one-day cricket, and registered her maiden WNCL century.
“Phoebe Litchfield has taken her game to the next level in the past 12 months,” chief selector Shawn Flegler said.
“We view her as a long-term player for Australia and it’s pleasing to reward her progress with selection in an Ashes squad.”
Litchfield’s chances of cracking into the Test team on June 22 at Trent Bridge are helped by Rachael Haynes’ retirement following Australia’s last four-day match in 2022, leaving a gap at the top of the order.
The left-hander would be considered a genuine chance of taking that spot, unless Australia open with Beth Mooney and play an extra bowler than in their last Test.
Kim Garth and Grace Harris are the other two players in the squad without Test experience.
English conditions would be expected to suit Garth and her ability to move the ball, after moving from Ireland and becoming one of Australia’s front-line bowlers.
Harris previously toured England for the 2015 Ashes, but is seen as more of a white-ball player for the three T20s and ODIs that follow the Test match.
Legspinner Amanda-Jade Wellington is again the unlucky player, picked instead for the Australia A tour, with fellow legspinners Alana King and Georgia Wareham preferred for the main squad.
Tayla Vlaeminck has also been named to make her comeback in the A side, after a lengthy layoff from foot fractures suffered in January 2022.
“She is progressing in her rehabilitation and is working back towards full bowling fitness,’’ Flegler said.
“She is a highly regarded talent and is certainly part of our plans moving forward.”
Australia will keep their options open of moving players out of the A squad and into the top team, with their three ODIs and T20s scheduled around the senior side.
Notable absentees from that squad include Elyse Villani, with the door now seemingly shut at age 33 after topping the run-scoring charts in the WNCL for two of the past three summers.
Tasmania teammate Nicola Carey was also left out of both squads, after being dropped from Australia’s main group in January.
AUSTRALIA SQUAD FOR WOMEN’S ASHES
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.
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