Sydney Sixers all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner has been selected in the Southern Stars ODI and T20I squads for the upcoming series against New Zealand.
Australia will host the White Ferns in a three-match T20 series beginning on February 17 at the MCG, before crossing the Tasman for the Rose Bowl Series, consisting of three ODIs.
Uncapped Gardner is now a chance to make her Australian debut in both the T20I and ODI arenas.
19-year-old Gardner shone in the Rebel WBBL|02 and was named the WBBL Young Gun following a breakout season with both bat and ball in which she produced a number of match-winning innings for the Sixers, finishing with 414 runs and claiming ten wickets.
Gardner’s selection follows an outstanding 12 months for the youngster, having captained the first Indigenous Australian women’s cricket team on their tour to India in May and was a member of the Governor-General’s XI that defeated South Africa in November.
Should Gardner make her Australian debut, she will become the first Indigenous woman to do so since Faith Thomas (née Coulthard) made her Test debut against England on 21 February 1958.
Also selected alongside Gardner in the T20I squad was Sixers stand-in captain and Alyssa Healy. Ellyse Perry was only selected in the ODI team, however, her availability is subject to fitness following a hamstring injury that kept her out of the WBBL|02 Finals.