Meg Lanning, Georgia Wareham return as Australia announce squad for Women's T20 World Cup 2023

The 15-member squad will also be facing Pakistan in the bilateral series ahead of the marquee event.

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Australia Women
Australia Women (Photo Source: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

Leg spinner Georgia Wareham is set to make her return to international cricket as Australia names their 15-member squad for the forthcoming ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. The same bunch will also play the three-match series against Pakistan before heading into the marquee event which begins on February 10, 2023 in South Africa.

The team will be led by regular skipper Meg Lanning, who also marks her return to international cricket after a six-month break. Wareham has not participated in an international match since October 2021, when she ruptured her ACL. After being out of the game for over a year, she returned to play only last week, when she participated in a domestic game for Victoria on Thursday.

Australian wicketkeeper and the team’s opening batter Alyssa Healy is back with the side after recovering from the injury. During Australia’s recent tour of India for a five-match T20I series, Healy sustained a calf strain, and as a result, was ruled out of the upcoming bilateral series against Pakistan which is set to begin on January 16.

As compared to the Australian squad that defeated the Harmanpreet Kaur-led India 4-1 in their most recent international outing, there have been two changes to the side. Phoebe Litchfield and Nicola Carey, who toured India along with the team, will be out of the setup for the World Cup as Meg Lanning and Georgia Wareham replace them.

Interestingly, Wareham was preferred over seasoned leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington. Jess Jonassen, the team’s spin sensation, was ruled out of the India series after the first game due to an injury, but she will be back in action for the T20 World Cup. Kim Garth, former Irish cricketer, is set to play her third T20 World Cup, but the first with the Aussies.

Tayla Vlaeminck is still on the sidelines as she is still recovering from her injury. As compared to the Australian side which defeated India in the final of the previous T20 World Cup, in 2020, nine players will be seen again in Australia’s upcoming campaign. Rachael Haynes and Delissa Kimmince (both retired), Sophie Molineux (injured), Nicola Carey, Erin Burns, and Molly Strano will be absent from the title defense.

Grace Harris, who was originally chosen for the 2016 tournament in India but withdrew at the last minute after learning she had been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, will join Tahlia McGrath, Darcie Brown, and Heather Graham as the four are set to feature in their first ever T20 World Cup. Australia, thus, have a full-strength squad for the tournament and would be looking to defend their title and lift the cup for a record sixth time.

Australia’s T20 World Cup squad:

Meg Lanning (c), Alyssa Healy (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

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