Jonassen to miss start of tri-series due to Covid

Allrounder Heather Graham has been added to the squad as cover

Australia left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen will miss the start of the T20I tri-series in Ireland after testing positive for Covid-19.

Jonassen is currently isolating at home in Brisbane and is due to depart next Monday ahead of Australia’s final two matches of the series which also features Pakistan.

Tasmania allrounder Heather Graham has been called into the squad and will link up in Ireland in the coming days. The remainder of the team arrive in Belfast on Tuesday.

Graham was a travelling reserve during the ODI World Cup this year and was briefly elevated into the main squad when Ash Gardner had Covid. She is currently uncapped in T20Is having played one ODI against Sri Lanka in 2019.

Jonassen would usually be a first-choice selection in Australia’s T20I side and there is no like-for-like cover as a left-arm spinner. Her absence could mean a chance of both legspinners, Alana King and Amanda-Jade Wellington, teaming up as they did twice during the ODI World Cup.

The tri-series in Ireland, which begins on July 16 when Australia face Pakistan, provides preparation for those two sides ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham at the end of the month.

For Australia this is their first time back in action since claiming the ODI World Cup in early April. They have a new interim head coach in Shelley Nitschke after Matthew Mott departed for the England men’s team, but the playing squad remains very settled with the original group unchanged from the ODI World Cup.

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