20 February 2020

Huge blow for Australia as injury forces pace bowler Tayla Vlaeminck out of T20 World Cup

Australian fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck has been ruled out of the Women's T20 World Cup on the eve of the tournament, due to stress fractures in her right foot.

The 21 year-old, who is a key weapon for the defending champions with her extra pace and variation, will be replaced by 27-year-old off-spinner Molly Strano.

Strano was an integral member of the Melbourne Renegades' Women's Big Bash side over the Australian summer and finished the tournament as the top wicket-taker.

She first burst onto the international scene in 2014 claiming 22 wickets in the domestic T20 season before making her international debut in the 2014-15 Australian squad.

However, she has not played international cricket since November 2017 - and the lack of a like-for-like pace bowling replacement will be a huge thinking point for coach Matthew Mott.

Mott said: "Tayla has been in brilliant form of late and established herself as one of the premier fast bowlers in international cricket.

"No-one ever wants to see a player miss a major tournament in these circumstances, but I have no doubt she will bounce back and play a leading role in Australian squads for many years to come.

"Molly enters the squad in great form having recently been named the domestic player of the year."

Australia begin their title defence on Friday against India at the Sydney Showground as they bid to reach finals day at the MCG on March 8 - International Women's Day.

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