Jess Jonassen in sad new fallout after Alyssa Healy's defence of 'brutal' axing

The 31-year-old has been left out of Australia's 15-player squad to tour Bangladesh.

Jess Jonassen and Alyssa Healy.
Jess Jonassen is on the outer with the Australian team in all three formats. Image: Getty

Jess Jonassen's international cricket career is at a crossroads after the Aussie veteran was left out of the squad for a white-ball tour of Bangladesh next month. Jonassen (when fit) has been a part of every Australian touring squad since making her international debut back in 2012.

But she was left out on Tuesday when selectors announced the 15-player squad to tour Bangladesh in March. The 31-year-old wasn't selected for any of the ODI or T20 games against South Africa in Australia earlier this month, and was also axed from the Test team in favour of the returning Sophie Molineux.

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"We've tried to pick a balanced squad with multiple bowling options and, unfortunately for Jess and Heather (Graham), they have missed out on this occasion," chief selector Shawn Flegler said. "While we know both will be disappointed to miss out on selection, they're exceptional cricketers who are highly valued by our group, and we certainly haven't counted them out of future opportunities."

Speaking earlier this month about her axing from the Test team, Jonassen told "I was and I still am pretty gutted. Any opportunity when you're in the squad, and having played the most recent Tests as well, I felt like I was ready to go. It's one of those things that it can be quite brutal at the moment."

Alyssa Healy responds after 'brutal' axing of Jess Jonassen

Aussie captain Alyssa Healy defended the decision and said Jonassen still had a role to play for Australia considering all the subcontinental cricket coming up. The T20 World Cup will also be held in Bangladesh later this year, before the ODI World Cup in India in 2025.

"I don't think it's anywhere near the end for JJ, I think she's still got an opportunity to play cricket for Australia," Healy told reporters after Australia beat South Africa by an innings and 284 runs. "There's a lot of subcontinental cricket in the next 12 months with two World Cups in Bangladesh and India.

"I've played a lot of cricket with JJ and seen the way that she competes for Australia. Every time you throw her the ball, you know she's going to get the job done. It's probably just a really interesting period for her to go through, to go back and continue to prove herself and almost force her way back into the side, which I think she's going to absolutely love."

Healy said the decision to go with Molineux over Jonessen in the Test at the WACA was down to the fact she can spin the ball a bit more than her fellow left-armer. "Adding Soph to the squad was probably from the outside looked an interesting decision knowing we've already got a left-arm spinner in the mix," she said. "Just the way that Soph has been playing and her all-around ability, they're both really similar, don't get me wrong, but I think Soph offers something really unique with her left-arm spin and the way that she can really turn the ball and get something out of the wicket."

Jess Jonassen.
Jess Jonassen in action for Australia during a Test match against India in 2023. (Getty Images)

Tayla Vlaeminck returns after long injury layoff

Injury-plagued fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck is a chance to play her first match for Australia in more than two years after being included in the 15-player squad. Molineux is also a chance to play her first white-ball match for Australia since 2021 during the tour of Bangladesh.

Alana King and Georgia Wareham have also been picked for Bangladesh ahead of Jonassen, who was also snubbed from the ODI leg of the West Indies' tour to Australia last spring. Jonassen hasn't played an ODI since last July.

Australia will play three ODIs and three T20s during their time in Bangladesh, beginning with the first ODI on March 21. The bilateral tour marks Australia's first ever to Bangladesh, and will give the side a chance to acclimatise ahead of the T20 World Cup there in September.

Australia squad for Bangladesh tour:

Alyssa Healy (c), Darcie Brown, Ash Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (only selected for T20s), Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham, Tayla Vlaeminck

with AAP

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