Three Sydney Thunder players have been named in the Southern Stars squad for the World Cup, including uncapped Belinda Vakarewa.
Thunder skipper Alex Blackwell is joined by Rachael Haynes, who returned to the international set-up at the backend of the summer during the Southern Stars tour of New Zealand while Belinda Vakarewa has impressed during the recent camp at the Bupa National Cricket Centre.
“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,” said National Selector Shawn Flegler.
“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.
“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.”
Thunder’s Indian international Harmanpreet Kaur has been named in the Indian squad while Stafanie Taylor will captain reigning T20 Champions the West Indies.
Southern Stars World Cup Squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington
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
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