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January 20, 2010
The teenage wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy will make her international debut in next month's Rose Bowl series after Australia's captain Jodie Fields was ruled out with a serious hamstring injury. Alex Blackwell will lead the side in the absence of Fields, who suffered her problem during Saturday night's Twenty20 at the Gabba.
The group is also missing Karen Rolton, who has announced her retirement from international cricket. Shelley Nitschke has been named vice-captain of the 14-player squad aiming to retain the Rose Bowl in the five-match ODI series in Adelaide and Melbourne.
The series will feature the debut of Healy, 19, the niece of the former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy. "Alyssa has been identified for higher honours for a number of years and now gets the chance display her wicket-keeping skills and attacking batting on the international stage," the selection chair Christina Matthews said.
The loss of the captain Fields is a blow for Australia, as she will require surgery on her left hamstring. Cricket Australia's case and rehabilitation manager Kevin Simms said it was uncertain how long Fields would be out of action.
"A scan over weekend revealed she had suffered a serious tear that will require surgery," Simms said. "Jodie is likely to be out for an extended period and her date of return is unclear. Her return to cricket will depend on her recovery from surgery."
Squad Alex Blackwell (capt), Shelley Nitschke, Sarah Andrews, Jessica Cameron, Lauren Ebsary, Sarah Elliott, Rene Farrell, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Julie Hunter, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Leah Poulton, Lisa Sthalekar.
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