Brisbane, Jan 12 (SocialNews.XYZ) Australia's off-spin all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner will captain 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, Ashleigh captained the National Indigenous Women's Team on its tour to India and is the current vice-captain of the Sydney Sixers in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL). 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.
Heather, who is also in Australia's T20I squad for the series against Pakistan, has a minor back complaint but is expected to be available for the three-match affair and the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa to be held in February.
Ashleigh said she is looking forward to leading the side against an emerging Pakistan team captained by Bismah Maroof. "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 Ashleigh'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 match begins at 10:05 am local time on Friday and entry is free. 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."
Governor General's XI squad: Ashleigh Gardner (captain), Erin Burns, Nicole Faltum, Nicola Hancock, Ellie Johnston, Charli Knott, Phoebe Litchfield, Kate Peterson, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll, Amanda-Jade Wellington, and Able Seaman Charlee Masters - Australian Defence Force