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Perry back; Australia set for women's series vs New Zealand

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Ellyse Perry has been included in an 18-player squad as Australia prepares to host New Zealand in its first series since winning the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in March. Allrounder Perry has recovered from surgery on the hamstring she injured during the T20 World Cup, which sidelined her for Australia’s win over India in the final in front of more than 86,000 people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australia is scheduled to host New Zealand in three T20s and three one-day internationals in Queensland and New South Wales states starting Sept. 27, although the itinerary could change depending on domestic travel restrictions in place for the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia and New Zealand have closed international borders but have allowed limited exceptions. The Australian men's cricket squad is leaving for England on Sunday for a series six limited-overs matches next month, the first trip overseas by an Australian sports team since the lockdown in March.

The women's squad is bigger than usual because of the pandemic. While Perry has been included subject to fitness, pace bowler Tayla Vlaeminck will miss the series because of a foot injury. “Ellyse is progressing well from a significant hamstring injury and we want to give her every chance to be available for selection,” national selector Shawn Flegler said in a statement Friday. “We’ll continue to monitor her progress over the coming weeks.”

Meg Lanning's Australia lineup has won the last six ODIs and last five T20s against New Zealand since the last loss in 2017. The team also has won 18 consecutive ODIs, a record in women's cricket, and is chasing the world record of 21 consecutive ODI wins set by Ricky Ponting's Australian men's team in 2003.

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