CAPTAIN: Meg Lanning of Australia bats during a women's T20 International between Australia and New Zealand in Geelong earlier this year.
CAPTAIN: Meg Lanning of Australia bats during a women's T20 International between Australia and New Zealand in Geelong earlier this year. TRACEY NEARMY

National team in crucial camp on Sunshine Coast

CRICKET: Australian women's captain Meg Lanning says team members are looking forward to fine-tuning their skills on the Sunshine Coast, ahead of the World Cup.

The national side will be officially welcomed to the region on Monday as it gears up for next month's marquee tournament in England.

The event's defending champions will open their campaign against West Indies.

They want to hit The County Ground at Taunton in full flight so the south-east Queensland camp is a vital one.

"We're really excited to be able to spend some valuable time on the Sunshine Coast as we put the final touches on our World Cup preparations," Lanning said.

"The facilities here are first class and the weather is even better, so we'll be looking to get some good match practice in and make the most of the time we have here."

The 15-player squad include teenage pace bowler Belinda Vakarewa, who could make her one-day debut.

"Belinda Vakarewa is an exciting young talent, She adds some extra firepower with her pace and we're excited to see what she can do," selector Shawn Flegler said in a report.

"This is going to be one of the most tightly contested World Cups in recent times and we have chosen 15 players that we believe are capable of leading Australia to victory."

Australia is vying for a seventh World Cup conquest.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for this team, with the chance to stake their claim as one of the most successful sporting teams in Australian sport," Flegler said.

The current Memorandum of Understanding between Cricket Australia and all contracted men's and women's cricketers expires on June 30.

Speaking on the MOU negotiation, Cricket Australia executive general manager of team performance Pat Howard said, in a article last week: "Selectors have chosen this squad irrespective and independent of the status of the MOU."

"We are confident that there will be a resolution in place by 30 June and look forward to continuing to support these players to perform at their very best on the global stage."

Australia World Cup squad: Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell (vc), Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Meg Lanning (c), Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

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