Four Sixers WBBL|02 players have been included in the Southern Stars 21-player preliminary squad ahead of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup in England and Wales.
Sixers Captain Ellyse Perry will be joined by magenta teammates Alyssa Healy, Ashleigh Gardner and Sarah Aley in the Australian squad.
Perry and Healy are stalwarts of the Southern Stars, while Ashleigh Gardner made her T20 and One Day debuts for the Southern Stars earlier this year following her WBBL|02 Young Gun recognition.
Aley, on the other hand, was called-up to the Southern Stars T20 team for the series against New Zealand, but did not make an appearance for the national team. Her selection in the preliminary World Cup squad gives one of the Sixers most experienced players another chance at earning a cap for her country.
Eventually a 15-player team will be selected following a three-week training camp at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane from 24 April – 12 May.
“We are really excited about players that have been chosen in this initial squad and are looking forward to seeing them put their best foot forward over the next three weeks," said National Selector Shawn Flegler.
“There’s some great depth in the squad with the more experienced players complimented by a number of new faces who have shown they can hold their own at this level.
“The ICC Women’s Championship showed us how tough this year’s tournament is going to be and the players know they’re going to have to be at the top of their game to win the title.”
Australia will be looking to make a strong start to their campaign which begins on 26 June against the West Indies at The Country 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.
The Southern Stars preliminary squad is as follows:
Australia's World Cup schedule:
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
July 18: First semi-final, Bristol
July 20: Second semi-final, Derby
July 23: Final, Lord's