Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars allrounder Jess Jonassen will captain a squad filled with exciting young talent in the inaugural Governor General's XI match against India in Drummoyne on Friday.
The Twenty20 match will act as a warm-up fixture for the touring India women ahead of their T20 and one-day international series against Australia, while it will also offer Jonassen and fellow Southern Stars Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Beth Mooney and Delissa Kimmince their first look at their upcoming opponents.
Joining them in the GG XI squad is a host of young players who impressed during the Rebel Women's Big Bash League season, including spinners Molly Strano (Renegades) and Amanda-Jade Wellington (Strikers).
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The squad is made up of players from the Brisbane Heat, Melbourne Renegades and Adelaide Strikers, who are not involved with the WBBL|01 finals this week, while it also recognises the important role cricket plays in the armed services, with Able Seaman Sarah Beard selected following her outstanding performances in the recent International Defence Cricket Challenge in Canberra.
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"This has been a great summer of women’s cricket and this group of players have been a big part of that," Governor General Peter Cosgrove said.
"Being selected in the Governor-General’s XI gives these cricketers the opportunity to test their mettle against India’s best. I am sure this match will be a great experience for all who come to cheer them on."
Women’s National Selection Panel Chairman Shawn Flegler said he would be paying particularly close attention to emerging players including Strano, Wellington and Sophie Molineux.
“We have chosen a young, talented squad for this match, led by Jess Jonassen who over the last 12 months has developed into a genuine and match-winning all-rounder," Flegler said.
"She will be joined by her national teammates Holly Ferling, Grace Harris and Beth Mooney who will all gain valuable experience against India ahead of the limited-overs series beginning on Australia Day.
"We will also watch with interest the performances of a number of emerging players like Molly Strano, Sophie Molineux and Amanda-Jade Wellington. These players have all impressed over the course of the WBBL season and we look forward to seeing how they perform against an experienced Indian line-up.
"We congratulate the players on their selection for this important match following strong domestic performances this summer.
"We look forward to developing this annual fixture into a truly great Australian sporting tradition and are honoured to do so with the support of the Governor-General," Flegler said.
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It was announced earlier this month that Australia's leading female cricketers would feature in an annual Governor-General XI's match against touring teams, with the match hoping to replicate the success of the annual Prime Minister's XI match for men.
The Governor-General’s XI will assemble in Sydney on Thursday whereby they will attend a reception hosted by the Governor-General at Sydney’s Admiralty House.
Entry to the Governor-General’s XI v India match is free with play commencing at 3.00pm, Friday, January 22, at Drummoyne Oval, Sydney.
Those unable to make it to the match can stream it live and free on www.cricket.com.au or via the Cricket Australia LIVE app, with commentary from Alison Mitchell and Isabelle Westbury.
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The Southern Stars will play three T20Is against India as double-headers alongside the men in Adelaide (January 26), Melbourne (January 29) and Sydney (January 31), before three ODIs in Canberra (February 2) and Hobart (February 5 and 7).
Governor-General’s XI squad: Jess Jonassen (c), Sarah Beard, Holly Ferling, Grace Harris, Delissa Kimmince, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Bridget Patterson, Alexandra Price, Molly Strano, Amanda-Jade Wellington
India squad (from): Mithali Raj (c), Jhulan Goswamy (vice capt), Smriti Mandhana, MD Thirushkamini, Harmanpreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy, Shikha Pandey, Niranjana Nagarajan, Sushma Verma, Kalpana R, Ekta Bisht, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Raut, Poonam Yadav, Sneh Rana, VR Vanitha, Anuja Patil, Deepti Sharma
Southern Stars v India T20s:
January 26: Southern Stars v India (Adelaide Oval), 2.30pm AEDT
January 29: Southern Stars v India (MCG), 2.30pm AEDT
January 31: Southern Stars v India (SCG), 2.30pm AEDT
Southern Stars v India ODIs:
February 2: Southern Stars v India (Manuka Oval), 2.30pm AEDT
February 5: Southern Stars v India (Blundstone Arena), 2.30pm AEDT
February 7: Southern Stars v India (Blundstone Arena), 2.30pm AEDT