Australia’s women will begin their Ashes preparations in earnest in Brisbane this week, as players come together for a training camp at the Bupa National Cricket Centre.
Half of the national-contracted list will undergo fitness testing, skills sessions and take their first look at the red ball since the 2017 Ashes during the first of three weeks of training at Cricket Australia’s Brisbane base.
The entire group will come together for the second week from May 20, with the other half staying on for the final leg from May 27.
“It gives us a good chance to get a little bit more individual work in with the coaches and continue our specific work on things we’ve identified,” Australia captain Meg Lanning explained.
“I’m looking forward to getting back together as a squad, it’s been a little while.”
It’s the first time the Australians have come together since the final one-day international against New Zealand in Melbourne in early March, and the start of a hectic 12-month period that will begin with the away Ashes tour in June and July and culminate in the T20 World Cup on Australian soil next February and March.
They’ll have another chance to finetune on home soil in mid-June ahead of their departure for the United Kingdom, and a week of training and practice matches in Loughborough before the first ODI.
“It’s a really good chance for us to get back together as a group for a couple weeks and hang out and work with each other on some things,” Australian batter Beth Mooney said.
“We’re the kind of group that don't need long any more to get ready, we’ve got lots of years under our belts and majority of the squad has been together for a long time.
“It’s about fine tuning and getting some k’s in our legs and getting back into the swing of cricket life.”
The Australian-contracted players will be working alongside the National Performance Squad, a group of up-and-coming players who will look at the camp as a chance to push their claims for selection in either the senior squad, or in the Australia ‘A’ group that will also tour England in July.
One NPS player the coaches will be keeping a particularly close eye on is young Victorian quick Tayla Vlaeminck, who made her international debut late last year before her season was cut short due to a knee injury.
The 20-year-old has resumed bowling and is now working on putting her hand up for a spot in Australia’s Ashes squad.
The squad for the multi-format, points-based series is expected to be revealed next month, with the touring party to depart for the UK in late June.
The Ashes begin on July 2 with an ODI at Leicester’s Grace Road Oval. Australia and England will face off in three ODIs, one Test and three T20Is to determine who walks away with the coveted trophy, currently in Australia’s possession after they retained it on home soil in 2017.
CommBank Ashes Tour of England
First ODI Grace Road, Leicester, July 2
Second ODI Grace Road, Leicester, July 4
Third ODI St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, July 7
First T20 County Ground, Chelmsford, July 26
Second T20 The County Ground, Hove, July 28
Third T20 Bristol County Ground, Bristol, July 31