Australia women's squad jets out of Melbourne today bound for Sri Lanka for a 10-day training camp to assist with preparation ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in September, where the team will be aiming to defend their world title.
Every squad member (minus Sarah Elliott who is unable to attend), plus up-and-comers Holly Ferling (Queensland) and Nicola Carey (NSW) are in the training camp squad.
Coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick said it was exciting to have two up-and-coming stars on the tour and that the team training sessions would be competitive and integrate game situations, as well as actual matches.
"We've got a very good group together for this training camp, which includes up-and-comers Holly Ferling and Nicola Carey who are part of our Commonwealth Bank Shooting Stars program. It's exciting to have them on this trip; it will provide them with some great exposure to elite training in foreign conditions and provide them added experience around the senior group," Fitzpatrick said.
"The squad will engage in highly competitive training sessions, undertake game scenarios to allow refinement of strategies and to deal with pressure situations while in Sri Lanka, while also playing four T20 matches, two against New Zealand and two against a local men's team."
Australia captain Jodie Fields said the tour would be about getting a feel for conditions ahead of the tournament in September.
"It's going to be vital for our preparation leading into the tournament. It's going to be great to train daily and get used to the conditions, the heat and the low spinning wickets over there and do that day after day and really get used to what we're going to experience in September," Fields said.
"Playing in India earlier this year gave us a taste of what to expect. It was hot, the wickets dry and generally slower and lower tracks so it's pretty different from training here in Australia on bouncy wickets or indoors in most states at this time of year, so we're looking forward to getting over to Sri Lanka and building on that experience we gained in India.
"I remember touring Sri Lanka about nine years ago with the Australian Youth Team and the conditions were very much like Indian conditions and this camp backing on from the Indian series earlier this year will be very valuable to our preparation for trying to defend the title," she said.
In addition to getting some great experience in Sri Lankan conditions, the squad will also get to explore and embrace the Sri Lankan culture.
The squad departs today and returns to Australia on 13 August.
The training squad is: