Damaging with the bat: Muruwari woman Ash Gardner is set to play cricket in the Caribbean

Sydney, Australia, September 29: Ashleigh Gardner of Australia bats during game one of the International Twenty20 series between Australia and New Zealand at North Sydney Oval on September 29, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Muruwari woman Ash Gardner has been selected in the Australian Twenty-20 cricket squad to compete in the World T20 tournament in the Caribbean next month.

Gardner’s performance in the three-match series win over New Zealand last week was enough to earn her a spot in the 14-player squad.

The 21-year-old is already a leader in the squad. A talented batsman throughout her teenage years, she captained the National Indigenous women’s squad on tour to India as an 18-year-old in 2016.

She wore the Australian colours with pride again last June, captaining the Aboriginal XI that toured England to commemorate 150 years since the first Aboriginal team visited the UK.

Gardner is in the team as an off-spin bowling option, but can also be damaging with the bat, with a strike rate of 130 from her 14 International T20s.

She is a handful with the ball in the shortest format of the game, taking a wicket every 16-balls on average for Australia in T20s.

Gardner is in form. She took her second best career figures against New Zealand last week of 2 for 22 on a flat North Sydney Oval.

The World T20 is held every two years and of the five women’s World T20 events held so far, Australia have won three. The West Indies are the defending Champions.

Australia travel to Malaysia for a three-match series against Pakistan this month, before heading directly to the West Indies.

Gardner was unavailable for comment before the time of publication.

By Keiran Deck

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