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Jess Jonassen tests positive for Covid-19 and will miss the start of the triangular series against Pakistan and Ireland

After testing positive for the Covid-19 virus, Australian women’s team spinner Jess Jonassen will miss the start of the tri-series against Pakistan and Ireland. Jonassen tested positive and was placed in isolation in Brisbane on the eve of the team’s departure for the United Kingdom. As a result, she will miss the first two games of the tri-series.

Jonassen will join the squad in Northern Ireland next week after finishing her isolation period and departing on Monday. Heather Graham, a Tasmanian all-rounder, will replace Jonassen in the team as a backup and will travel to the UK soon. The rest of the team will arrive in Belfast on Tuesday. Graham was a reserve during this year’s ODI World Cup and was briefly promoted to the starting lineup when Ashleigh Gardner was forced to withdraw due to a virus.

Graham has limited international experience, having only played one One-Day International (ODI) in 2019. She has yet to make her debut in a T20I. Jonassen has been Australia’s first-choice left-arm spinner not only due to a lack of options but also because she is one of the team’s best all-rounders.

In her absence, there is a chance that Alana King and Amanda-Jade Wellington will form a playing combination, as they did during the World Cup earlier this year, as the team lacks a legitimate left-arm spin-bowling option. The T20 tri-series will feature two games against Ireland and Pakistan and will serve as preparation for the teams’ Commonwealth Games campaign.

Australia has not played an international match since their triumphant Women’s World Cup campaign. They have crowned ODI World Cup champions in April 2022, and their schedule has been empty since then. As a result, the upcoming tri-series will be their first international appearance in over three months.