Cricket Australia today announced the 14-player Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars squad for the Tour of England in July under a new captain, Queenslander Jodie Fields.
Karen Rolton will step down as captain after the ICC World Twenty 20 tournament but will remain in the squad for the Ashes series and will be the team’s most experienced campaigner, providing much needed experience within the group.
The series includes a Twenty20 and five one-day internationals, as well as a Test match where the Australia team will be looking to regain the Ashes after losing them to England in Australia in 2007-08.
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars squad for the Tour of England is:
Sarah Andrews NSW 27
Alex Blackwell (vc) NSW 25
Jessica Cameron VIC 19
Lauren Ebsary WA 26
Rene Farrell WA 22
Jodie Fields (c) QLD 24
Rachael Haynes VIC 22
Shelley Nitschke SA 32
Erin Osborne NSW 19
Ellyse Perry NSW 18
Kirsten Pike QLD 24
Leah Poulton NSW 25
Karen Rolton SA 34
Lisa Sthalekar NSW 29
Commenting on the squad, Women’s National Selection Panel Chair Margaret Jennings said: “The only change from the squad selected for the ICC World Twenty20 is Rachael Haynes replaces Elyse Villani for the Ashes series. Haynes is a talented young left-handed batter who had a good National League season for Victoria and we see her as having a big future in Australian women’s cricket.
“She’s also a former captain of our national under-21 team, the Commonwealth Bank Shooting Stars so she comes in with some good experience under her belt as well.
“Jodie Fields will take over the captaincy of the team with Alex Blackwell as vice captain.
“Karen has decided to stand-down from the captaincy, however her presence in the squad will provide invaluable experience to Jodie and Alex.
“It’s a great credit to Karen and her leadership skills that she has decided to make this decision, which would not have been easy. She has been a great captain for this country and will provide terrific support against a strong England side.
“Although our World Cup performance didn’t go according to how we planned in March, one of the good things to come out of it was that we did beat England twice which will give our squad some confidence heading into the series.”
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland noted Rolton’s excellent reign as captain and as an ambassador for the women’s game while in the role.
“Karen is a legend of women’s cricket and has captained the team with distinction since 2006. She has always led from the front and been a fine ambassador for Australia and the women’s game,” Mr Sutherland said.
“With the Ashes series following closely after the ICC World Twenty20, the team and its new leaders will greatly benefit from Karen’s commitment to ensure a smooth transition in leadership.”
The Tour of England 2009
Thu 25 Jun
**1st T20 – England v Australia (Sky TV)
Mon 29 Jun
1st ODI – England v Australia (Sky TV)
Tue 30 Jun
2nd ODI – England v Australia (Sky TV)
Fri 3 Jul
3rd ODI – England v Australia
Sun 5 Jul
4th ODI – England v Australia
Tue 7 Jul
5th ODI – England v Australia
Fri 10 – Mon 13 Jul
1st Test – England v Australia
**Double-header with domestic men's match