Australia aiming to use white-ball tour of Bangladesh as preparation for Women’s T20 World Cup

Shawn Flegler said the women’s team will be aiming to use their first-ever bilateral tour of Bangladesh

Sydney, Jan 13 (IANS) Australia national selector Shawn Flegler said the women’s team will be aiming to use their first-ever bilateral tour of Bangladesh as preparation and gathering information for the Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in the country later in September this year.

As per the FTP, Australia will be playing a three-match ODI and as many T20I games on their tour of Bangladesh, to be held at the end of March and early April following the second edition of Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India.

Australia’s last trip to Bangladesh was in 2014, when they won the Women’s T20 World Cup, from which four players are still actively playing international cricket: captain Alyssa Healy, premier all-rounder Ellyse Perry, opener Beth Mooney and left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen.

“We’ve got a couple of venues in Bangladesh that the World Cup will be played at so that will be part of the investigating during the tour, about how wickets are going to play,” Flegler was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Australia have a problem of plenty in terms of their spin-bowling options. Left-arm spinner Jess, off-spin all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner and leg-spinners Georgia Wareham and Alana King are in the national set-up. Such is the competition that Alana is present only in ODI squad for the series against South Africa.

Add to it, left-arm spin all-rounder Sophie Molineux has recently returned from a year-long layoff with an ACL injury and will captain the Governor General’s XI against South Africa. “She’s been highly-rated by the Australian set-up for a long time and just great to have her back playing. It’s pretty clear having a left-arm orthodox spinner playing international cricket is pretty good.”

“We’ve been blessed with the amount of spin options we’ve had; we’ve had a left-arm spinner either Jess Jonassen or Soph involved in our World Cups over the last seven campaigns, so we’ll see that continuing, I’m sure. It’s going to be a tight squeeze over the next few series, but really blessed to have those options available to us,” added Flegler.

Leg-spinner Amanda Jade-Wellington hasn’t been a regular member of the Australian team despite taking 46 wickets in the last two WBBLs. She recently revealed about her British ancestry and possibility of playing international cricket for England if she doesn’t get a chance again with Australia.

“It’s a personal decision for Amanda what she wants to do. But we certainly haven’t said she’ll never play for Australia again. Can imagine it’s really frustrating for Amanda. If that’s something she does want to pursue, then that’s up to her,” concluded Flegler.

–IANS

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