King gains the Australian contract, Molineux misses out of 2022-23 season

Alana King © Getty Images

Leg-spinner Alana King, who impressed with her stellar performance in the recently concluded ICC World Cup, has earned her first national contract, Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Thursday (April 7). Injured left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux has missed out on the contract for 2022-23, while Georgia Wareham and Tayla Valeminck have retained their contracts.

King made her international debut during the Ashes, and she has played in every match since then across formats. Along with her impressive performance in the one-off Test, King was the second-highest wicket-taker for Australia during their successful World Cup campaign behind Jess Jonassen. She played in all nine matches in the World Cup and took 12 wickets at an average of 24.50 and an economy of 4.52. 

CA’s head of peformance and national selector Shawn Flegler lauded King for her performances and credited the domestic setup for producing players of her calibre. 

“Alana King came into the side during the Ashes and hasn’t missed a beat, she produced match-winning performances across all three formats and thoroughly deserves her spot on the list,” said Flegler. “After the loss of Georgia Wareham to injury, we were in a fortunate position to be able to replace her with another outstanding leg spinner in Alana. It’s a real credit to Alana and the Australian Cricket system to have someone of her calibre waiting in the wings ready to go.”

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Molineux suffered a stress fracture in her left foot during the seventh edition of the Women’s Big Bash League. She was expected to recover ahead of the World Cup, but Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) rules in New Zealand, which would have hampered her recovery, ruled her out of the ICC event. Flegler shared his thoughts on Molineux’s omission. 

“Sophie Molineux is unfortunate to miss out on a contract, she’s been an important part of the side over the last couple of years,” he said. “Unfortunately, she’s missed a large amount of cricket due to various injuries, but we feel she can continue to play an important role with a more consistent run of matches.”

Grace Harris and Amanda Jade-Wellington, who were part of the 15-member squad for the World Cup, were not considered for the contract list. Wareham and Valeminck, who missed out on the opportunity to play their first ODI World Cup due to injuries, have retained their spot. Flegler hoped to see young players in action for the national side soon. 

“Georgia Wareham and Tayla Vlaeminck retain their contracts which enables us to continue to support them on their return to play after suffering long-term injuries. Both are progressing well in their rehab, and we look forward to seeing them in action at some stage during the summer,” he added. 

Australia’s upcoming calendar includes a tri-series against Ireland and Pakistan in July, followed by a maiden appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham starting July 28.