Teenager Annabel Sutherland's consistent all-round performances in Australian domestic cricket has put her in the frame for selection to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020.
Last week, in the 50-over Women's National Cricket League, the 18-year-old Victoria bowling all-rounder hit an enterprising 37-ball 43 in the first match against Western Australia and then went on to claim figures of 3/21 in eight overs. She topped that performance with 67 and 1/49, outshining international stars such as Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Elyse Villani, who are also in her side.
Sutherland, who was picked up by Melbourne Stars in the WBBL at the age of 15, was at the time the youngest player to feature in the tournament. She missed a chunk of this latest edition because of her year 12 exams. Recently, the teenager did well with the ball for Australia A during their series wins over India A in the 20-over and 50-over matches.
Victoria captain Lanning and Australia A coach Leah Poulton have been particularly impressed with the youngster, convinced that it is only a matter of time before Sutherland makes her debut in international cricket.
"She played well through the Big Bash, she played well in the A series and again she played well [for Victoria] … When you do well, you're going to get spoken about [by selectors]," Lanning told cricket.com.au. "Being an all-rounder, that certainly helps her as well … as a young player, it's good to see her doing well."
Echoing similar sentiments, Poulton agreed that Sutherland's name will definitely crop up in the selection meetings when the squad for the T20 World Cup is discussed.
"Based on how she performed in this series and in the WBBL, I don't think she's far off," said Poulton. "It's always tempting to have someone new in a World Cup because the opposition won't know much about them, and we always try and say it doesn't matter how old you are, if you're good enough you should be playing.
When you do well, you're going to get spoken about [by selectors].
"So whether or not she gets selected, I don't know, but I think her name would be spoken about at that selection meeting."
Sutherland herself is not too bothered about the future and believes as long as she keeps working hard, the results will come. "I just like to stay in the present and keep on taking my opportunities when I get them.
"I've got a little bit more time on my hands now, which is good. It's a good opportunity to knuckle down and keep working hard. Any chance I get at training is another opportunity to learn off the girls."
Personalise your homepage with an ICC account
News, fixtures and updates tailored to your favourite team. Never miss a moment!