19-year-old Phoebe Litchfield has made it to the Australian squad for the upcoming multi-format Ashes series, alongside the Ireland-born Kim Garth. Tayla Vlaeminck, on the other hand, is part of the Australia A squad that will tour England at the same time.
Litchfield could make her Test debut, in case Australia decide to make better use of either Beth Mooney or Alyssa Healy elsewhere in the batting order. The youngster is likely to fill the shoes of Rachael Haynes, who announced her retirement last year.
The New South Wales batter made her international debut in December 2022, against India during the T20I series before playing all the three WODIs against Pakistan, where she scored 154 runs, averaging 154 with two 50s.
"Following the success of the side at the recent T20 World Cup, the focus now turns to the exciting challenge of retaining the Ashes away from home," national selector Shawn Flegler said.
"We've been fortunate to have a consistent side across all formats over the past couple of years and as a result we have selected a similar group to the squad which won the T20 World Cup in February.
"Phoebe Litchfield has taken her game to the next level in the past 12 months, we view her as a long-term player for Australia and it's pleasing to reward her progress with selection in an Ashes squad,” he added.
Garth, on the other hand, could push for a Test debut considering the options at Australia’s disposal for the Ashes. Grace Harris, who has been a dominant force in international cricket is unlikely to be forced to play the longest format, with her sticking to the white-ball formats.
Vlaeminck too has brushed aside the injuries to make a comeback, having been included in the A squad. The pacer hasn’t played an international clash since early 2022.
"Tayla Vlaeminck is progressing in her rehabilitation and is working back towards full bowling fitness," Flegler said. "She is a highly regarded talent and is certainly part of our plans moving forward."
Australia Ashes squad: Meg Lanning (capt), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham