Australia Announces Women’s Test Squad for Historic South Africa Encounter
After a hiatus of over three years, Sophie Molineux makes a triumphant return to the Australian squad. Her recent performances in domestic cricket and her successful captaincy of the Australian Governor General’s XI, leading them to victory against the touring South Africans in a T20 in late January, have been instrumental in her recall.
Molineux, who has made a remarkable recovery from an ACL injury that kept her off the field for over a year, is currently the leading wicket-taker in the Australian 50-over domestic competition, with 17 wickets at an average of 14.47.
Molineux is the only new addition to the Test squad that toured India in late December. Lauren Cheatle has been sidelined due to a skin cancer operation on her neck last month, and Heather Graham has been left out of the group.
Shawn Flegler, Head of Performance (Women’s Cricket) and National Selector, praised Molineux’s resilience and hard work, particularly after her injury ordeal.
“Molineux’s impressive performances in the WNCL and for the Governor-General’s XI post her ACL injury are a testament to her off-field efforts over the past year,” Flegler said.
“Sophie, a multi-skilled cricketer with strong leadership qualities, has been highly regarded by the National Selection Panel for a long time. Her inclusion in the Test squad, given the depth of spin-bowling talent in Australian cricket, is a fantastic reward for her perseverance.”
Relive the thrilling final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in Cape Town, where Meg Lanning’s Australia triumphed over South Africa.
Molineux joins a group that includes four other spinners, with all-rounders Ash Gardner and Jess Jonassen, and leg-spinners Alana King and Georgia Wareham also named in the squad.
This match marks the first women’s Test between the two nations. South Africa last played red ball cricket against England in Taunton in 2022, a match that ended in a draw. Six of the Proteas’ 14-member squad have earned their maiden call-up in the format.
Alyssa Healy, (C) Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham
South Africa squad:
Laura Wolvaardt, Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder, Ayanda Hlubi, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Eliz-Mari Marx, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Chloé Tryon, Delmi Tucker