Wellington, Harris return in Australia's World Cup squad

Some familiar faces return as Australia name their 15-player squad for the major ODI event in New Zealand

Amanda-Jade Wellington and Grace Harris have been called into Australia's 15-player squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup in New Zealand, but star spinner Sophie Molineux has been ruled out of the tournament through injury.

Leg-spinner Wellington could play her first ODI since March 2018, and Harris her first since November 2016, after being included in the group to make the trip across the Tasman early next month.

Australia's ODI World Cup squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington

Travelling reserves: Hannah Darlington, Georgia Redmayne

But Molineux's absence is a blow for both the Victorian and for Australia; the left-arm spinner was ruled out of the Ashes due to a stress fracture in her left foot but it had been hoped she would recover in time for the ICC event.

She joins fellow Victorians Tayla Vlaeminck (foot) and Georgia Wareham (ACL) as the key players missing from Australia's bid to win back the only piece of silverware missing from their trophy cabinet.

Haynes 'gutted' for Vlaeminck, hopeful on Mooney

Wellington – the second leg-spinner in the group alongside Alana King – and off-spin bowling allrounder Harris are the two inclusions to the current group contesting the Ashes.

"Amanda-Jade provides us with another quality spin option … leg-spin has been a big part of our success in recent years and while Alana King is currently doing that role for us, there’s no reason we couldn’t play both in the same team if conditions and match-ups suit," national selector Shawn Flegler said.

"Grace didn’t get much of a go in the recent T20s, but she brings the versatility to bat anywhere in the top or middle-order and her bowling could also be a real asset throughout the tournament as we’ve seen orthodox spinners have a lot of success in New Zealand.

"Sophie Molineux unfortunately misses out due to injury; she was unlikely to be available until the back end of the tournament and with limited match time and having to complete ten days managed isolation, it was a tough call, but we weren’t prepared to take the risk."

That means Ashes squad member Hannah Darlington misses out, but she has been included as a travelling reserve alongside Georgia Redmayne. The pair will accompany the main squad to New Zealand but will only be available for selection if another player is ruled out of the tournament.

There was no place in the squad for right-arm quick Stella Campbell who yesterday was promoted to Australia's Ashes squad ahead of the one-off Test at Manuka Oval.

'Unplayable' Campbell offers new dimension to Aussie attack

"Hannah and Georgia will travel with the squad and can play a variety of roles if required," Flegler said.

"Hannah impressed during the India series, while Georgia continues to impress with the bat and importantly offers a back-up ‘keeping option."

With left-armer Jess Jonassen and off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner also in the squad it provides Australia with five spin options, alongside the pace offered by Megan Schutt, Darcie Brown, Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Annabel Sutherland and Nicola Carey.

Wellington, McGrath, Harris, King and Brown were not part of Australia's T20 World Cup triumph in 2020, while there are six new faces from the side which was knocked out of the semi-finals at the one-day World Cup in 2017.

"We’ve been able to put together a really talented squad with some fresh faces as well as players with significant World Cup experience,' Flegler added.

Meanwhile a back-up group of Campbell, Elyse Villani, Molly Strano, Maitlan Brown and Heather Graham will remain with the Australian group – and under their biosecurity restrictions – until they depart for New Zealand on February 10, in case any late changes are required.

"Our group of stand-by players are able to replace anyone in the squad up to the day we depart Australia on 10 February and so we’ve looked at all skill sets to make sure we can cover anything that might happen between now and then," Flegler said.

Once the 17 players fly to Christchurch and enter a 10-day period of managed isolation no further changes can be made.

New Zealand sports minister Grant Robertson has confirmed the World Cup will go ahead in March and April despite further COVID-19 restrictions being introduced in New Zealand, following an outbreak of the Omicron variant.

The country has been placed under a 'red' level of restrictions, which includes a cap of 100 vaccinated people at events and mask wearing in public.

How this will impact crowds at the World Cup has yet to be confirmed.

The Australian squad will depart for New Zealand on February 10, two days after the final Ashes ODI, and will be required to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine upon their arrival.

They are expected to play two warm-up matches in Christchurch before commencing their World Cup campaign against England at Hamilton's Seddon Park on March 5.

Last week, it was confirmed the tournament would not be broadcast on free-to-air television in Australia, with Foxtel and Kayo holding the exclusive rights, however, it has been confirmed all matches will be free to watch on Kayo without a subscription.

Women's ODI World Cup 2022

Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington. Travelling reserves: Hannah Darlington, Georgia Redmayne

Australia's ODI World Cup 2022 fixtures

Mar 5: v England, Seddon Park, Hamilton, 12pm AEDT

Mar 8: v Pakistan, Bay Oval, Tauranga, 12pm AEDT

Mar 13: v New Zealand, Basin Reserve, Wellignton, 8am AEDT

Mar 15: v West Indies, Basin Reserve, Wellignton, 8am AEDT

Mar 19: v India, Eden Park, Auckland, 12pm AEDT

Mar 22: v South Africa, Basin Reserve, Wellignton, 8am AEDT

Mar 25: v Bangladesh, Basin Reserve, Wellignton, 8am AEDT



Mar 30: Basin Reserve, Wellington, 8am AEDT

Mar 31: Hagley Park Christchurch, 12pm AEDT


Apr 3: Hagley Park Christchurch, 11am AEDT

All matches broadcast exclusively in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports.