Burgeoning allrounder Sophie Molineux has not recovered from a shoulder surgery in time to be named in Australia's women's Ashes squad to tour England this year, though she has been offered an indirect path back to selection via the Australia A group who will be touring in parallel with the senior team.
Following a strong domestic season in which she was part of the Melbourne Renegades side narrowly beaten by the Sydney Sixers in a thrilling WBBL season four semi-final at Drummoyne Oval in Sydney, Molineux went in for surgery with the hope of being fit in time for the Ashes.
However, her recovery is still progressing, meaning Molineux will be gently brought back to the international fold via Australia A's matches against the England Women's Academy and also a tour game against the England senior side, ahead of the one-off Ashes Test at Taunton from July 18 to 21. The one-day leg of the Ashes begins on July 3.
Tayla Vlaeminck, the 20-year-old quick bowler who has played one ODI and one T20I, has been included after overcoming injury. She had missed the ODI series against New Zealand earlier this year as did Nicole Bolton, who had opted to take a break due to personal reasons and has been included in the Ashes squad. Meanwhile, Lauren Cheatle - who returned to the national fold during the New Zealand - has been left out.
"We've been able to name a reasonably stable squad which is really important with Sophie Molineux the only player to miss out from Australia's most recent series against New Zealand," national selector Shawn Flegler said. "Sophie has been doing everything she could do prove her fitness having had a shoulder reconstruction back in February, but she still needs a bit more time to make sure she's 100% [fit], so she'll travel to England with the Australia A side.
"Tayla was also under an injury cloud but she's back bowling and has had a terrific off-season up in Brisbane, so we're really excited to see what she can do in English conditions. We're fortunate to be able to take an Australia A side to England as well which will give us flexibility with the squad as we move through the various formats.
"The Ashes is arguably Australia's biggest bilateral series and one that is always a really tightly fought contest. As holders of the Ashes it's going to be a big challenge for the team to bring the trophy back to Australia, but we believe the side has the right mix of talent and the depth to do exactly that."
The tour will follow the same aggregate format used in recent times, with points accumulated over three ODIs, the one-off Test, and then three T20Is. Molineux will be hopeful of resuming her place in the national team by the time the shortest of the three formats rolls around in late July.
Australia will depart for England on June 21, and will play two 50-over warm-up matches against England Women's Academy in Loughborough on June 26 and 28, and a three-day red-ball game in Swindon from July 11-13.
One name of note in the Australia A squad is the 17-year-old Annabel Sutherland, making her first international tour after appearing for the Governor-General's XI against the touring New Zealand side late in the home summer.
Australia Ashes squad: Nicole Bolton, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Georgia Wareham, Tayla Vlaeminck
Australia A squad: Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Josie Dooley, Heather Graham, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Redmayne, Molly Strano, Annabel Sutherland, Rachel Trenaman, Belinda Vakarewa, Amanda-Jade Wellington.