Universities Women’s Cricket Club will field three players in the Australian squad to take on England in a Test match and five one-day internationals in Australian next month.
Universities and NSW captain Lisa Sthalekar and twins Alex and Kate Blackwell have been chosen in the 13-women squad, with Sthalekar to act as vice-captain to Karen Rolton.
The Australian selectors have made one change to the national squad, with Queensland all-rounder Kirsten Pike replacing Victoria’s Clea Smith.
The squad also includes Ellyse Perry, who became the youngest Australian to play international cricket when she made her debut as a 16-year-old in the second ODI of the Rose Bowl Series against New Zealand last July.
The Southern Stars will play a curtain-raiser against the old enemy before the Australian men take on India in a Twenty20 match at the MCG on February 1, which Perry is excited about for the women’s game in Australia.
“It’s probably one of the biggest crowds that we’ve played in front of,” Perry says. “It is really great that we have been given that chance to showcase our skills and our expertise to the public.”
Australia will be looking to reverse the 2005 one-day series in England, where they lost 3-2 while the Southern Stars won the two-Test series 1-0.
The Australian squad: Karen Rolton (capt), Sarah Andrews, Alex Blackwell, Kate Blackwell, Ellyse Perry, Lisa Sthalekar (NSW), Kris Britt, Shelley Nitschke, Emma Sampson (SA), Melissa Bulow, Jodie Purves, Kirsten Pike (Qld), Sarah Edward (Vic).
By Graham Croker