Thirty-two-year-old Sarah Aley has been added to Australia Women's T20I squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand on February 17. She was called in as cover for Lauren Cheatle, who sustained an injury to her shoulder during training last week.
Aley - who finished as the highest wicket-taker in the recently concluded Women's Big Bash League - would be the fourth-oldest Australian woman to make a T20I debut if she plays, behind Cathryn Fitzpatrick (37), Belinda Clark (34) and Lisa Keightley (34).
She was the player of the match during the WBBL final. In 10 matches in the tournament, Aley took 19 wickets with three three-wicket hauls, including 4 for 23 in the final.
National selector Shawn Flegler said Aley's consistent performances in both the 50-over and 20-over versions have earned her a spot in Australia's squad. "Sarah had yet another consistent season in both the T20 and 50-over competitions this season and there's no doubt she has earned her selection," Flegler said. "She has got a wealth of experience and we know that if the opportunity arises she will be able to perform the role she's given. You always know what you are going to get with Sarah."
Cheatle is expected to be available for the second and third matches of the series. The three-match T20I series starts in Melbourne, before moving to Geelong and finishing in Adelaide on February 22.