Villani World Cup bound

Commonwealth Bank VicSpirit opener Elyse Villani has been included in the Australian squad for next month's World Cup in India.

The explosive batter, who is yet to make her one-day international debut, last played for Australia in the 2010 World Twenty20 final and will line-up alongside teammates Jess Cameron, Julie Hunter and Meg Lanning.

A position opened up after Leah Poulton announced her retirement this week, paving the way for an all-Victorian top order of Villani, Lanning and Cameron to lead the Southern Stars assault on the World Cup.

Villani has struck 956 runs at an average of 47.80 for the VicSpirit, Shooting Stars and Brunswick Park so far this season and Women's National Selection Panel chair of selectors Julie Savage saw her as the logical choice.

"The recent retirement of Leah Poulton from ODIs opens the way for hard-hitting Victorian batter Elyse Villani to join the squad," Savage said.

"Elyse has been one of highest run-scorers in the Women's National Cricket League this season, scoring those runs at an excellent strike rate.

"Our batting line-up has been in good form, led by the record-breaking feats of Meg Lanning.

Having won the World Cup five times, Australia will be out for a strong performance after finishing a disappointing fourth in the 2009 tournament.

Southern Stars ICC Women's World Cup India 2013 Fixtures
9.00am (Local time) Thursday January 31, 2013 v Pakistan at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC)
9.00am Sunday February 3, 2013 v South Africa at Cricket Club of India (CCI)
9.00am Tuesday February 5, 2013 v New Zealand at Middle Income Group Ground (MIG)
2.30pm (D/N) Saturday  February 9, 2013 v England at Cricket Club of India (CCI)
2.30pm (D/N) Monday February 11, 2013 v India at Cricket Club of India (CCI)
9.00am Wednesday February 13, 2013 v West Indies at Wankhede Stadium

Australian squad for the ICC Women's World Cup India 2013
Jodie Fields (c) QLD
Alex Blackwell (vc) NSW
Jess Cameron VIC
Sarah Coyte NSW
Holly Ferling QLD
Rachael Haynes NSW
Alyssa Healy NSW
Julie Hunter VIC
Jess Jonassen QLD
Meg Lanning VIC
Erin Osborne NSW
Ellyse Perry NSW
Megan Schutt SA
Lisa Sthalekar NSW
Elyse Villani VIC

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