Domestic stars to go head-to-head in red-ball clash

There will be more red-ball cricket opportunities for Australia's next-in-line

Australia’s strongest domestic talent will go head-to-head in a three-day red-ball game in Adelaide next month, in an event set to become an annual part of the women’s calendar.

The ‘Green v Gold’ match at Karen Rolton Oval from March 5-7 will feature 26 players split across two teams captained by Heather Graham and Charli Knott.

While most CA contracted players, as well as Sophie Molineux and Laura Harris, will be overseas at the India Premier League, those remaining in Australia – Graham, Kim Garth, Alana King and Darcie Brown – will also take part.

Green Squad: Heather Graham (c), Chloe Piparo (vc), Maitlan Brown, Maddy Darke, Amy Edgar, Alana King, Lilly Mills, Kate Peterson, Sophie Reid, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Courtney Sippel, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Voll

Gold Squad: Charli Knott (c), Nicole Faltum (vc), Emma de Broughe, Darcie Brown, Sophie Day, Tess Flintoff, Kim Garth, Sianna Ginger, Milly Illingworth, Katie Mack, Grace Parsons, Courtney Webb, Amanda-Jade Wellington

CA head of performance Shawn Flegler said while there were no plans to introduce a multi-day state competition, the Green v Gold game was intended to become a regular event to help build red-ball experience outside of the core Australian squad.

"The Australia A program, we're that ramping back up again, and we want to have red-ball opportunities in every series that we play with Australia A," Flegler told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

"This three-day fixture is something that supplements that.

"We want to make this an annual fixture if we can ... it's a great opportunity for players on the edge of international selection.

"I think if you bundle all those together with a three-day game, Aus A opportunities at home and overseas, I think that sets us up pretty well for the Test match experience."

The game is part of an expanding Australia A women’s program, as CA look to develop the next generation of Australian players.

It will see more ‘A’ series played, including regular contests at home and away against England and India.

The last two Australia A tours were played alongside senior Ashes tours in 2022 and 2023.

"We're trying to lock in some tours with India at the moment ... we want to have a four-year program with them," Flegler said.

"We've got England (A) who come out every time the Ashes is on and we go over there.

"Once we've got an Indian series and an England series and then when other opportunities pop up, we'll look at that as well.

"A home-and-away series every year for an A program, it's pretty solid, I think."

Notable absentees from the Green and Gold squads are wicketkeeper-batter Georgia Redmayne and teenage WA quick Chloe Ainsworth.

The former is unavailable due to a family wedding, while Ainsworth is managing an ankle injury after a breakout summer in the WBBL and WNCL.

"Chloe does have a bit of an ankle issue she's going to get that looked at the end of the season, so we've decided the best thing for her is to miss this game with a view to these A opportunities at the start of next summer.

"She's someone we're certainly got an eye on, I think she's got a great future ahead of her."

Australia’s Under-19s will meanwhile travel to Sri Lanka next month for a tri-series against the hosts and England.

That series will be a crucial building block towards next year’s Under-19 World Cup, and Flegler said a home Under-19s series was also in the works for the start of the 2024-25 season.

"There's lots of opportunities coming up for best young cricketers coming through, whether there's red-ball opportunities for the U19s as well, that'll be looked at.

"Then there's things like batting and spin camps that we want to take some of the players through as well."

Women's CommBank T20I Series v South Africa

First T20: Australia won by eight wickets

Second T20: South Africa won by six wickets

Third T20: Australia win by five wickets

Women's CommBank ODI Series v South Africa

First ODI: Australia won by eight wickets

February 7: South Africa won by 84 runs

February 10: Third ODI, North Sydney Oval, 2.40pm

Australia white-ball squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Darcie Brown, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris*, Jess Jonassen, Alana King**, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham *T20s only | **ODIs only

South Africa white-ball squad: Laura Wolvaardt (c), Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder (wk), Ayanda Hlubi, Sinalo Jafta (wk), Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Eliz-Mari Marx, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Chloe Tryon, Delmi Tucker

Women's CommBank Test Match v South Africa

February 15-18: Only Test, WACA Ground, Perth 11.00am

Australia Test squad: 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 Test 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