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Sophie Molineux handed Australia contract after successful return
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Sophie Molineux handed Australia contract after successful return

Sophie Molineux’s successful return to international cricket has been recognised by Cricket Australia with a central contract for the blockbuster 2024-25 season, which features a T20 World Cup, an ODI series against India and the Women’s Ashes.

Molineux was recalled to the national side for February’s’ one-off Test match against South Africa following an injury-plagued period that saw her lose her contract in 2022.

After a title-winning stint for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the WPL, the 26-year-old was selected for the recent tour of Bangladesh, where she played a key part in the team’s T20 and ODI series sweeps in both formats.

On her return to the ODI fold in Mirpur she took 3-10 in a supremely economical spell of bowling, while her performances in the 20-over format saw her named player of the series.

“We’re really pleased to be able to offer Soph a contract after her successful return to the side this summer,” CA’s head of performance and national selector Shawn Flegler said. “She’s shown a great deal of resilience to get back to full fitness and she’ll play an important role next summer.

“We feel the list features a great deal of depth and a variety of skill sets that will come into play throughout the various series scheduled for 2024-25, including the T20 World Cup and multi-format Ashes series.”

There were no surprises on the list announced on Monday and former skipper Meg Lanning is the only player from last year not to have made this year’s 17-strong list following her retirement. Between 15 and 18 players can be contracted, according to the MOU between CA and the players’ union.

Players not awarded contracts as part of the initial squad of 17 can earn upgrades throughout the year by accruing 12 upgrade points. Players receive five points for a Test match, two for a one-day international and two for a T20 international.

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Cricket Australia 2024-25 contracted players

Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jessica Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

Source: theguardian.com