The National Selection Panel (NSP) has named a 15-player squad ahead of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England and Wales beginning on 24 June.
The squad includes pace bowlers Belinda Vakarewa, 19, and Sarah Aley, 32, who are both a chance to make their One-Day International debuts during the tournament.
Following selection of the squad, National Selector Shawn Flegler said: “This is going to be one of the most tightly contested World Cups in recent times and we have chosen 15 players that we believe are capable of leading Australia to victory.”
“Belinda Vakarewa is an exciting young talent who has made the most of her opportunities that have come her way with the Shooting Stars and more recently during the three-week camp held in Brisbane. She adds some extra firepower with her pace and we’re excited to see what she can do.
“Sarah Aley will also add some extra depth to our bowling attack and brings an incredible amount of experience to the group which is invaluable in a tournament like this.
“Ashleigh Gardner is another young player that has really impressed and alongside Kristen Beams, Jess Jonassen and Amanda-Jade Wellington, will form a strong spin attack that provides a range of options with the ball.
“We’re pleased to have Rachael Haynes back in the squad after suffering an ankle injury earlier in the year and she too brings a wealth of experience having played in World Cups and in English conditions.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for this team, with the chance to stake their claim as one of the most successful sporting teams in Australian sport.”
Speaking on the MOU negotiation, Cricket Australia Executive General Manager of Team Performance, Pat Howard said: “Selectors have chosen this squad irrespective and independent of the status of the MOU. We are confident that there will be a resolution in place by 30 June and look forward to continuing to support these players to perform at their very best on the global stage.”
The squad will finalise their preparations during a two-week camp beginning in Brisbane on Monday, with the second week to take place on the Sunshine Coast.
Australia will begin their quest for a record seventh World Cup on 26 June against the West Indies at The County Ground, Taunton.
England, New Zealand, West Indies, India, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will join Australia in the tournament with each side to face off against the other seven nations concluding with semi-finals at Bristol and Derby before the final at Lords on 23 July.
Australia are the defending champions having won a record sixth World Cup in 2013 after defeating the West Indies by 114 runs in the final in India.
Australia's World Cup Schedule- Preliminary Matches
June 26: Australia v West Indies, Taunton
June 29: Australia v Sri Lanka, Bristol
July 2: Australia v New Zealand, Bristol
July 5: Australia v Pakistan, Leicester
July 9: Australia v England, Bristol
July 12: Australia v India, Bristol
July 15: Australia v South Africa, Taunton