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Teenage WBBL star gets Australian call-up

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/01/2017 Warren Barnsley

Teenage allrounder Ashleigh Gardner's stellar WBBL season with the Sydney Sixers has been rewarded with Australian selection.

Gardner is in line to make her international debut when the Southern Stars face New Zealand in Twenty20 and one-day series in February-March.

Melbourne Renegades spinner Molly Strano has also received her first call-up to the T20 side after taking 13 wickets in six WBBL matches this season.

Gardner was fifth top-scorer in the WBBL with 414 runs from 16 matches.

The 19-year-old also took 10 wickets at fewer than seven runs per over as the Sixers marched to the title.

Gardner could become the first indigenous woman to play for Australia since Faith Coulthard in the 1950s and 60s.

Star allrounder Ellyse Perry won't play in the T20 series after missing the WBBL final for the Sixers with a hamstring injury, but she is a chance to return in the Rose Bowl ODI series in New Zealand.

After dominating the WBBL with five half-centuries, batsman Meg Lanning retains the Australian captaincy for both series against the Kiwis.

The Southern Stars begin the three-match T20 campaign on February 17 before heading to Auckland for the first of three ODI clashes.

AUSTRALIAN T20 SQUAD: Meg Lanning (capt), Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Lauren Cheatle, Rene Farrell, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

AUSTRALIAN ODI SQUAD: Meg Lanning (capt), Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Lauren Cheatle, Rene Farrell, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry (subject to fitness), Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

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