Thursday 14 February 2008 

Four New Names In Southern Stars' Ashes Team

The Commonwealth Bank Series Southern Stars have named a side including four debutantes for their one-off Ashes Test against England Women in Bowral from February 15th to February 18th.

Fast bowlers Kirsten Pike, Emma Sampson join all-rounder Ellyse Perry and wicket-keeper Leonie Coleman in making their first Test appearance although all four have already represented their country in One Day Internationals.

For Perry, her debut will see her become the youngest Australian Test player, male or female, as, at 17 years and 104 days, she will beat the record of Ian Craig, who was 17 years and 239 days when he made his debut on February 6th, 1953 against South Africa.

England are the current holders, and Australia Karen Rolton said the team, which needs to win to claim the Ashes, is looking forward to a close match between two evenly-matched teams.

“Both the teams are pretty evenly matched at the moment and that was reflected in drawn one-day series. We are certainly expecting a tightly fought contest. There are several players in our current side who were there when we lost the Ashes back in 2005 so we are especially keen to perform over the next four days.” she said.

“We are very proud to be able to wear the baggy green cap and represent Australia in Test cricket. It’s going to be very exciting for the debutants in the side when they receive their first baggy green on the morning of day one. It is a moment in their careers which they will remember for a long time.”

Australia Women: Karen Rolton (captain), Lisa Sthalekar (vice-captain), Sarah Andrews, Alex Blackwell, Kate Blackwell, Melissa Bulow, Leonie Coleman (wicket-keeper), Shelley Nitschke, Ellyse Perry, Kirsten Pike, Emma Sampson, Sarah Edwards (12th woman).

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