Australia has announced its 15-player squad for the upcoming multi-format women's Ashes series, and teenage batting sensation Phoebe Litchfield has earned a place in the team. Litchfield's recent white-ball form, including back-to-back half-centuries in her first two ODIs against Pakistan in January, has caught the selectors' attention, and they believe she is a long-term player for Australia.
Led by Meg Lanning, the team will play one Test match, three T20Is, and three ODIs against England from June 22. Australia has held the women's Ashes since 2015 and won by a 12-4 margin in 2021/22 at home. The focus now turns to the challenge of retaining the Ashes away from home.
"Phoebe Litchfield has taken her game to the next level in the past 12 months, and it's pleasing to reward her progress with selection in an Ashes squad," said Shawn Flegler, CA's Head of Performance (Women's Cricket) and National Selector.
Litchfield's inclusion means allrounder Heather Graham has been named in the Australia A squad, which includes a mix of senior and developing young players. Australia A will play three T20s and three 50-over fixtures, which run concurrently to the women's Ashes.
In addition, both Australia and England will play a three-day warm-up match against England A and Australia A, respectively, in preparation for the Test match at Trent Bridge.
Courtney Webb, the 2022-23 WNCL Player of the Year, has also been selected in the squad, along with Tayla Vlaeminck, who is continuing her rehabilitation from a significant foot injury suffered in early 2022.
"The nature of concurrent tours also offers flexibility and allows players to be available for and cross over into both squads, whether it be from a preparation perspective or to provide an opportunity at the international level," said Flegler.
Australia squad for Women's Ashes: Meg Lanning (captain), 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 and 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