Overlooked by the Australian selectors for some time, Amanda-Jade Wellington has suggested that she could instead represent England if her time in the international wilderness continues.
Barring two outings at the 2022 World Cup in the absence of first-choice leg-spinner Georgia Wareham, Amanda-Jade Wellington has not played for Australia since 2018 in any format. It is not clear whether she will add to her tally of 23 international caps.
It is not that she has not been performing well. Only Sophie Day and Jess Jonassen had more wickets than her 23 (average 11.65, economy 5.46) at this year’s WBBL. A spell of 3-16 was enough to win her the Player of the Match in the final as well.
At the Women’s CPL before that, there were eight wickets at 12 apiece. At last year’s WBBL, she had 23 more. The list is very long, and she would almost certainly have played more international cricket for any other team.
However, Australia already boast of a quality leg-spinner in Wareham who, unlike Wellington, can bat. When Australia needed to replace Wareham for the 2021/22 home Ashes, they drafted in Alana King, who, according to national selector Shawn Flegler, is “probably a little bit quicker through the air” and attacks the stumps more than the more conventional Wellington.
Some clarification from national selector Shawn Flegler on the choice to pick Alana King over Amanda-Jade Wellington for the Australian Ashes squad 👇
— Brittany Carter (@_BrittanyCarter) January 12, 2022
Wellington, however, is not keen to change her style of bowling. “I’m the type of bowler who tosses the ball up and tries to spin it as much as I can and I’m not going to change myself just to get selected, I’m going to keep to who I am as a player and a person,” she told ABC Sport.
But, there is another way for her to play international cricket if not for Australia. “I haven’t told anyone this before, but I can apply for a UK passport. I have ancestry on my Dad’s side from England, so if I genuinely wanted to, I would apply for that.
“It’s not totally off the cards. I have thought about it. It is in the back on my mind but making that decision would be really hard because there are some risks. For instance, it would make me an international player for the Big Bash. Technically the door is still open: I just haven’t really explored it that much.”
For a player to switch allegiance from one Full Member nation to another, they must go three years without an international appearance. For Wellington, should she obtain a British passport, the earliest she could theoretically qualify for England is in March 2025, six months before that year’s World Cup in India.
Australia recently had former Irish international Kim Garth playing for them, while England gave out a cap to Mahika Gaur, who had previously debuted for the UAE.
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