Australia batter Beth Mooney has been declared fit for the women’s Ashes Test to be played at the Manuka Oval from January 27, just 10 days after undergoing surgery on fractured jaw. Beth had fractured her jaw in a practice session before the first T20I in Adelaide and had to go under the knife. But she was back in the nets soon after the surgery and was running laps.
“She’s been passed fit to play. So, from a medical perspective, that’s all good. It was sort of around her comfort levels and confidence levels getting back into it after being hit, she’s had no issues at all. So once she was cleared and she’s confident and ready to go, there were no issues about bringing her back,” Australia captain Meg Lanning was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo ahead of the one-off Test.
Australia are leading the women’s Ashes 4-2. Meg, who on Thursday will become just the third women’s cricketer to captain her team in 150 international matches across all formats after England’s Charlotte Edwards and India’s Mithali Raj, termed Beth’s resolve to play for Australia as ‘incredible and inspirational’.
“It’s pretty incredible. Right from the moment she got hit she was pretty positive about the whole situation. To be coming back to play international cricket around a week after having jaw surgery is pretty inspirational for the group and she’s been really positive around everyone. She looks really good in the nets and in the field as well so she’s confident she will have no issues moving forward.”
Beth’s availability means Australia are yet to decide on their top-order make-up with Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes as other contenders. Meg, though, wasn’t in a hurry to divulge anything on it.
“Between (Haynes), Moons (Beth) and Midge (Healy), we’ll work through what exactly that looks like. But they all can play a role on top of the order. So, again, we’ll just have a look at the wicket and see what we think will work best but those three will certainly play, it just depends on the order with which we go.”
Meg signed off by saying that the medical staff in the team will be working around ideas to feed Beth through liquid diets. “She’s only a liquid diet at the moment, which doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, not a lot of variety. I think our physio and Pip the doc and the dietician have been coming up with some meal plans for her to make sure she’s getting enough energy and obviously with the Test match.
“The longer format you need to have that over a long period of time, but they’ve done a great job and so far, so good. She said she can eat unlimited amounts of ice cream. So, she’s pretty happy with that.”