Sophie Molineux ruled out of upcoming Ashes due to stress fracture on right foot
In a huge blow to Australia, allrounder Sophie Molineux has been ruled out of the upcoming Ashes series due to a stress fracture to her right foot she sustained during the seventh season of the Women’s Big Bash League, Cricket Australia announced on Tuesday (December 7).
Molineux, who was announced the captain of Melbourne Renegades before the seventh season, played in the Challenger final against Adelaide Strikers despite carrying the injury. She didn’t bat in Renegades’ eventual loss to Strikers and only bowled two overs. The severity of that injury has just been revealed.
Australia’s team Doctor, Pip Inge, explained the extent of the southpaw’s injury. “Sophie sustained a stress fracture to her right foot during the last week of the WBBL. She is currently offloading in a moon boot. A return to play plan has been developed in conjunction with Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia medical staff,” Inge said.
Molineux injury added further headache to Australian selectors after her state teammate Georgia Wareham was ruled out for a year with a knee injury. Unlike Wareham, who has been ruled out of Ashes, the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand and Commonwealth Games in 2022, Molineux will aim to be fit for the World Cup.
“Sophie’s focus now shifts to her rehabilitation plan, which means she’ll be unavailable for any upcoming domestic matches as well as the Ashes in January. At this stage we are aiming to have Sophie available for the ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in March,” Inge explained.
Since her international debut in September 2019, Molineux has become a permanent fixture in Australia’s squads. She was also part of Australia’s T20 World Cup-winning squad in 2018 and 2020. The 23-year-old made her Test debut during the 2019 Ashes series and took four wickets and scored 62 runs.
Australia will face England in the Women’s Ashes early next year, with the Test match to kick off the series in Canberra. Following three T20Is and three ODIs, both teams will head off for the World Cup in New Zealand in March-April. That event will be followed by the historic Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the first time women’s cricket will be included in the event.
The absence of Wareham and Molineux will give an opportunity to Amanda-Jade Wellington and Alana King, who were impressive throughout the seventh edition of WBBL alongside Jess Jonassen. The No. 1 ODI bowler, Jonassen will lead the spin attack in the multi-format series against England after missing out in the series against India due to a stress injury in her tibia.