Jonassen omitted for Bangladesh tour, Vlaeminck recalled

Jess Jonassen has been omitted from the squad for Australia’s white-ball tour of Bangladesh, but chief selector Shawn Flegler insists the out-of-favour spinner could still feature in future international fixtures.
Injury-plagued Tayla Vlaeminck is a chance to play her first match for Australia in more than two years after being included in the 15-player squad for the tour, which begins in March.

When fit, Jonassen has been a part of every Australian touring squad since making her international debut in 2012.

Those three, plus spin-bowling allrounder Ash Gardner, have been picked for Bangladesh ahead of Jonassen, who was also snubbed from the ODI leg of West Indies’ tour to Australia last spring.

“I think over the last couple of years, particularly over the last 12 months, JJ’s role has not been as strong in the team,” Flegler said. “That’s probably more to do with players like Ash Gardner having her game develop…and also players like Georgia Wareham with her skill set. Alana King’s form as well over the last 12 to 18 months has been really strong.”

Allrounder Heather Graham, on the fringes of the Australian set-up, has also been overlooked for the Bangladesh tour.

Jonassen, currently in India for the Women’s Premier League, will be top of mind should injuries strike the bowling attack in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in September.

Australia are also likely to meet New Zealand for a series ahead of the World Cup, which could present Jonassen and Graham with chances for a recall.

“We’ve seen over the past few World Cups and Comm Games, we’ve had issues with injuries that come up at the last minute,” Flegler said. “So if you’re not in the squad right now, you’ve just got to keep fighting and be ready if that opportunity does arise.”

Express quick Vlaeminck has been given the green light to return to the international set-up after recovering from a dislocated shoulder to play the end of the WNCL season.

She last played for Australia during the home Ashes in the summer of 2021/22, but was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her foot during that series. The injury kept her out of the ODI World Cup and Commonwealth Games in 2022 and last year’s T20 World Cup, all won by Australia.

Vlaeminck had been making her comeback with Australia A in last year’s tour of England when she injured her shoulder. She learned of her latest recall during an emotional phone call from Flegler.

“I think I lost the ability to speak for a moment there,” Vlaeminck said. “It’s something I’ve been pushing towards and it’s given me motivation over the last couple of years. For it to actually happen, it felt a little bit surreal, to be honest.”

Australia will play three ODIs and three T20Is during their stay in Bangladesh, beginning with the first ODI on March 21. They have never toured Bangladesh for a bilateral series, last visiting in 2014 for their victorious T20 World Cup campaign.

Australia squad vs Bangladesh

Alyssa Healy (capt), Darcie Brown, Ash Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (T20 only), Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Tayla Vlaeminck

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