A lower back stress fracture is restricting Australian cricket star Ellyse Perry to batting only ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Perry has been named in the powerful 15-player national squad for Birmingham, where women’s T20 will make its Games debut but Cricket Australia has revealed the all-rounder is nursing the injury and it is unclear for now whether she will bowl during their tour.
Australia will play a T20 series against Ireland and Pakistan in Derry between 16 and 23 July before the Commonwealth Games. Their first Games match will be against India on 29 July.
“Ellyse is recovering from a stress fracture in her lower back and is expected to play as a batter,” team physiotherapist Kate Beerworth said. “Her availability to bowl will be dependent on her progress in the coming weeks and on the medical advice.”
By competing at a Commonwealth Games, Perry will add to her unique sporting resume. The 31-year-old is the only Australian to have played in a cricket and a football World Cup, the latter in 2011 in Germany.
Perry is part of the same 15-player squad that dominated the one-day World Cup earlier this year in New Zealand. The one change is the coach – Matthew Mott has left for the head role with the England men’s one-day team. Assistant Shelley Nitschke will be the interim women’s head coach at the Games.
Australia also hold the Ashes and are the reigning T20 world champions. They will start the Games as the overwhelming gold medal favourites and will face Barbados, India and Pakistan in Group A pool matches. Group B features England, New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka, with the top two teams from the pools progressing to the semi-finals.
It will be the second time that cricket has been played at the Games – Steve Waugh’s 50-over team won the silver medal at Kuala Lumpur in 1998. While Australia will be the team to beat at the Games, they are yet to win at Edgbaston. The women have lost their two Tests and sole one-day international at the ground.
Squad: Meg Lanning (captain), Rachael Haynes vice captain, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington.