Star all-rounder Ash Gardner has declared herself a certain starter in Australia’s opening Twenty20 tri-series clash against England on Saturday, having recovered from an accidental blow to the back of the neck. Gardner had been in doubt to play due to concussion after being hit by batter Alyssa Healy in a training accident on Sunday. The incident forced her out of Australia’s warm-up game on Monday. She resumed training in recent days and successfully negotiated the Australian fast bowlers in the Manuka Oval nets in Canberra on Friday. “I am good to go. It was a bit of a silly thing to happen. Obviously, turned my back at the wrong time and Alyssa Healy tends to have a target on me,” Gardner said. “She got me in the neck. Thankfully, it wasn’t in the head which would probably have prolonged my recovery. But I am good to go.” Gardner had been under the watchful eye of the team’s medical staff and has passed the required tests. “The first couple of days was, obviously, not doing a whole heap, just trying to get my headache under wraps,” she said. tlit”Once those symptoms started to filter off, that’s when I could get back into the cricket side of things. Today [Friday] was the last test, to prove that I could face pace bowling again, and to do whatever everyone was doing.” This was her sixth concussion, having opened up in October about the toll the head knocks had taken on her and her enjoyment of the game. Gardner has a key role to play through this tri-series, also involving India, and through the subsequent T20 World Cup, with Australia the defending champions and No.1 ranked side. India opened the series with a five-wicket win on Friday. Having held England to 7-147 after 20 overs, an unbeaten 42 from Harmanpreet Kaur guided India to victory with three balls to spare. Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy (wk), Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Sc hutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham This article originally appeared at: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/gardner-cleared-to-play-in-tri-series-opener-against-england-20200131-p53wpd.html

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