Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Cricket Australia: Ashleigh Gardner to captain Governor-General’s XI

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All-rounder Ashleigh Gardner has been confirmed as captain of the Governor-General’s XI ahead of the side’s 50-over fixture against Pakistan on Friday at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

At just 18, Gardner captained the National Indigenous Women’s Team on its tour to India and is the current vice-captain of the Sydney Sixers.

The 25-year-old will lead a side combining youth and experience, with four players having played international cricket.

Rachel Trenaman (knee), Tahlia Wilson (Covid), Lauren Cheatle (concussion), Heather Graham (back) and Tess Flintoff (quad) will miss the fixture, with Erin Burns, Nicole Faltum, Nicola Hancock, Ellie Johnston and Kate Peterson called into the side.

Graham, who is also in Australia’s T20 squad, has a minor back complaint but is expected to be available for Australia’s three T20Is against Pakistan and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

The updated squad is:

Able Seaman Charlee Masters – Australian Defence Force

Ashleigh Gardner (NSW/Bankstown CC) – captain

Erin Burns (NSW/Bankstown CC)

Nicole Faltum (VIC/Dandenong CC)

Nicola Hancock (QLD/University of Queensland CC)

Ellie Johnston (QLD/Ipswich Logan CC)

Charli Knott (QLD/University of Queensland CC)

Phoebe Litchfield (NSW/Penrith CC)

Kate Peterson (SA/Glenelg CC)

Courtney Sippel (QLD/Western Suburbs CC)

Georgia Voll (QLD/Sandgate-Redcliffe CC)

Amanda-Jade Wellington (SA/West Torrens CC)

Gardner said she is looking forward to leading the side against an emerging Pakistan team.

“The Governor-General’s fixture is always an exciting one with some of Australia’s most exciting young talent on show, and this year will be no different.

“It’s an honour to be named captain and I look forward to leading the side against Pakistan; a team that’s really started to evolve and show what they’re capable of.”

Commenting on Gardner’s appointment, National Selector, Shawn Flegler said:

“Over the last few years Ash has grown into a strong leader, both on and off the field, so it’s pleasing to see her given this opportunity.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to develop future leaders and this fixture will give Ash the opportunity to lead a young side, but also one with plenty of international experience, which means she’ll be well supported.”

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) said:

“I would like to congratulate Ash Gardner on her appointment as captain of the Governor-General’s XI.

“Linda and I were fortunate to be at Edgbaston for the opening match of the Commonwealth Games to witness Ash’s commanding 52 not out to guide us to victory. It was inspiring and just one of her many fine performances representing Australia.

“Ash is a leader off the field as well and a tremendous example for young people everywhere. We look forward to cheering her and the side on.”

The match begins at 10:05am and will be broadcast live on Fox Cricket via Foxtel and Kayo. Entry is free.

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