Sixers fast-bowler Sarah Aley is in line to become one of the oldest players to debut for Australia having been added to the Southern Stars squad for the upcoming Twenty20 series against New Zealand.
Aley, 32, has been called into the Australian side for the first time as cover for youngster Lauren Cheatle who sustained an injury to her right shoulder during a training session last week.
One of the most consistent and successful players in the Australian domestic 50-over and T20 competitions, Aley had a stellar summer with the ball, including finishing WBBL|02 as the leading wicket-taker and being named Player of the Match in this year’s Big Final.
Over the 14 regular matches and two finals matches, Aley took 28 wickets, seven more than the Melbourne Renegades' Molly Strano who took the second-most amount of wickets at 21.
In the Big Final against the Scorchers at the WACA, won by 7 runs by the Sixers, Aley swung the game in the Sixers' favour when it looked like their modest total would be beaten by the Perth outfit.
Aley took the first wicket in the 6th over when she dismissed Elyse Villani but with the Scorchers 3-80 in the 15th over and chasing 124, Aley bowled Heather Graham and tipped the game in her team's favour.
After bowling Chloe Piparo and Anya Shrubsole to close out the innings, Aley finished with outstanding figures of 4 for 23 in her four overs and was awarded the final's Player of the Match.
Should Aley make her debut, she will become the fourth oldest player to do so in women’s T20s for Australia behind Cathryn Fitzpatrick (37), Belinda Clark (34) and Lisa Keightley (34).
Commenting on Aley’s call-up, National Selector Shawn Flegler said: “Sarah had yet another consistent season in both the T20 and 50-over competitions this season and there’s no doubt she’s earned her selection.
“She’s got a wealth of experience and we know that if the opportunity arises she will be able to perform the role she’s given; you always know what you are going to get with Sarah.
“With the World Cup just around the corner, we’re asking players to put their hands up and put in some strong performances, and that’s certainly what Sarah has done.”
The Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars T20 International squad will assemble in Melbourne on 14 February.
Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars v New Zealand T20 schedule:
17 February: First T20, MCG, Melbourne
19 February: Second T20, Kardinia Park, Geelong
22 February: Third T20, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide