Jess Jonassen tests Covid positive, Heather Graham called in as replacement

Australia for the first time since their World Cup victory early this year in April are set to take the field on the 16th of July for a tri-series in Northern Ireland. One on the eve of the squad’s departure to the United Kingdom there came a big blow to Australia with Jess Jonassen testing positive for Covid-19 on Sunday.

 

Jess Jonassen tests Covid positive, Heather Graham called in as replacement. PC: Getty Images
Jess Jonassen tests Covid positive, Heather Graham called in as replacement. PC: Getty Images

 

Jess Jonassen is currently under isolation at home in Brisbane and is expected to fly to Northern Ireland next Monday to join the squad. In the process, she’ll be missing a couple of games of the four-game tri-series against Ireland and Pakistan. Australia has named a replacement in all-rounder Heather Graham who’s soon expected to join the Australia squad in the United Kingdom.

AUSTRALIA’S SQUAD FOR THE ENGLAND TOUR :

Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

A couple of games Jonassen is expected to miss are crucial ones both for Australia and Jess Jonassen with the Commonwealth Games just days away they would have wished for all of their players to get into the match zone and gain some match fitness. This is another good opportunity that’s come Heather Graham’s way, she’s been with the squad as a reserve player and during the Ashes was part of the Australian A squad where she’d put up a good performance on the back of a fine run at the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). Her consistency over the last few years has been very appreciable and all of Australia will hope she comes good whenever she gets a game.

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With Jess Jonassen not available for the opening couple of games of the tri-series, not just Heather Graham it’s also a great opportunity for Amanda-Jade Wellington and Grace Harris to better their chances of being in the Australian XI. Grace Harris received a call back into the Australian Women’s T20 team during the Ashes and now can look to cement her place in the side. Amanda-Jade Wellington is the 2nd choice spinner for Australia after Alana King and here’s a chance for her to force herself into the Australian XI.

After a long layoff, Australia late in June did regroup and have a couple of training camps at the National Cricket Centre and now finally after a long gap will be taking the field on the 16th if July against Pakistan in their first game of the tri-series.

TRI-SERIES SCHEDULE :

July 16 : Australia v Pakistan

July 17 : Australia v Ireland

July 19 : Ireland v Pakistan

July 21 : Australia v Ireland

July 23 : Australia v Pakistan

July 24 : Ireland vs Pakistan

(all matches starts 8.30 PM IST)

It’s just a perfect buildup for Australia to be playing games against Pakistan who are a very good T20I and Ireland. The tri-series ends on the 23rd of July and then they’ll play the Commonwealth Games curtain-raiser against India on the 29th of July to kickstart their road to the final eyeing the Gold at the Games.

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