Australia’s next wave to target U19 T20 World Cup triumph
Chloe Ainsworth, Jade Allen, Charis Bekker, Paris Bowdler, Maggie Clark, Sianna Ginger, Lucy Hamilton, Ella Hayward, Milly Illingworth, Eleanor Larosa, Rhys McKenna, Claire Moore, Kate Pelle, Amy Smith, Ella Wilson.
Non-travelling reserves: Paris Hall, Samira Dimeglio, Sara Kennedy, Olivia Henry, Ananaya Sharma.
January 14 v Bangladesh at Benoni
January 16 v USA at Benoni
January 18 v Sri Lanka at Benoni
Key player - Ella Hayward
The Victoria all-rounder has become a familiar face on the domestic scene since making her elite debut in 2020, going on to play 30 WBBL matches for the Melbourne Renegades.
The right-arm off-spinner has taken 16 wickets in that time, including a bag of 4-16, and is often trusted to bowl in the Powerplay and when top opposition batters arrive at the crease.
The Indigenous 19-year-old is also handy with the bat and was the top-scorer in this year’s Under 19 Female National Championships.
But Hayward is likely to have the most impact on the U19 T20 World Cup when working in tandem with emerging leg-spinner Amy Smith.
Smith has even more WBBL experience than Hayward, with 35 T20s for the Hobart Hurricanes, after debuting for the Tasmanian Tigers when only 14 years of age.
Australia women’s teams have earned the right across the past decade or more to always aim for the highest honours and the first U19 T20 World Cup will be no different.
With more than half the squad already tasting top-flight experience in the WBBL and domestic one-day competitions they can expect to cruise through the group including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the USA.
They will of course face tougher tests in the knockout stages but anything less than an appearance in the Final would be a surprise.