Sutherland bolts into World Cup squad | Melbourne Stars - BBL
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Sutherland bolts into World Cup squad

16 January 2020

Star in the making Annabel Sutherland has made an extraordinary rise to the International stage, after today being included in the 15-player squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, beginning on February 21 against India.

The 18-year-old’s inclusion in the squad presents a remarkable scenario for the youngster, having only completed Year 12 studies in November last year, she's now in line for an Australian debut on the biggest stage.

The Australian squad gathered at the CitiPower Centre in Melbourne on Thursday morning for the official announcement.

Sutherland admitted being surprised when the phone call came through, “Little bit of a shock, but obviously really excited and pumped, really looking forward to getting into it and getting around the girls.”

The 18-year old was stunned by the early phone call from Australian Coach Matthew Mott, “I was little lost for words and probably a bit boring on the phone call. Straight after I told Will (brother); I woke him and he didn’t give me a lot but he was really pumped for me, and my family were really excited.”

Sutherland is a part of a family with cricket all through the bloodlines, with her father James playing first-class cricket for Victoria, while also being involved at an administrative level for 20 years. Her brother, Will, plays for Victoria and the Melbourne Renegades currently, so when the news came through the family were ecstatic for her. 

She continued, “They were playing golf at the time, you're not exactly meant have your phone on the golf course. Mum did say it was the first time she saw Dad cry. We’re a very supportive family and just want each other to do well.”

Sutherland admitted it had been a significant few months, school finishing, playing in the WBBL season and now WNCL – this wasn’t on her radar initially.

She said, “Through year 12 I focused more on school, but I probably would have liked to focus more on my cricket but once that finished up it gave me the chance to knuckle down on my cricket, and finish off the WBBL season with the Stars.”

Sutherland has been in scorching form recently with Victoria in the WNCL and before that the Australian A T20 and ODI series against India.

In her two most recent matches for Victoria, Sutherland scored 67 and 43 with the bat, as well taking four wickets across both matches against Western Australia. The 18-year old’s Australian A form accumulated with nine wickets at an average of 12.4 and 71 runs across the T20 and ODI series.

The young all-rounder was at times balancing Year 12 exams across the WBBL season, however, proved to be a shining light taking the new ball on numerous occasions, while also scoring crucial late innings runs for the Stars.

Sutherland has played 35 WBBL matches after making her debut at just 15-years-old, for cross-town rivals the Melbourne Renegades, in season two of the WBBL.

The thought of making a dream debut on the International stage on home soil hasn’t crossed her mind just yet, “I haven’t thought a lot about it, just looking forward to the experience, embracing the experience, if an opportunity comes I’ve just got to do my best to get ready for that and hopefully take it.”

Sutherland is a player on the rise and everyone at the Stars is extremely proud of this achievement and look forward to her playing on the big stage for not only this tournament, but for years to come.

Australia CommBank T20 Tri-Series and ICC Women’s T20 World Cup squad: Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Sophie Molineux, Georgia Wareham, Delissa Kimmince, Erin Burns, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Jess Jonassen, Nicola Carey, Tayla Vlaeminck

T20 Tri-Series fixture:
31 January, India v England, Manuka Oval, Canberra
1 February, Australia v England, Manuka Oval, Canberra
2 February, Australia v India, Manuka Oval, Canberra
7 February, India v England, Junction Oval, Melbourne
8 February, Australia v India, Junction Oval, Melbourne
9 February, Australia v England, Junction Oval, Melbourne
12 February, FINAL, TBD v TBD, Junction Oval, Melbourne

Click for the full T20 World Cup fixture