Beaumont Returns to England’s T20I Squad for NZ Tour; Ecclestone, Sciver-Brunt to Join After WPL 2024

Opener Tammy Beaumont has made a return to England’s T20I squad for the white-ball tour of New Zealand, more than two years after playing her 99th match in the format in January 2022.

With WPL 2024 to end on March 17 in Delhi, it has been announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that Alice Capsey, Sophie Ecclestone, Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danielle Wyatt will link up with the team from the fourth T20I and the subsequent ODI series.

Kate Cross will play only in the ODI series, while Issy Wong was not selected for the tour. Hollie Armitage and Linsey Smith are named in England’s T20I squad for the opening three matches of the series. Hollie, the Northern Diamonds captain, represented England A on the tour of India in November 2023.

The all-rounder has recently been out in New Zealand playing for the Central Hinds in their Super Smash T20 competition, could make her England debut. Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Linsey could be in line for her first international appearance since 2019. Fast bowler Mahika Gaur was unavailable for the tour due to her A-level studies.

“This tour is another important step in our build-up to the IT20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this year. We’re delighted to bring in Hollie Armitage and Linsey Smith to the IT20 group. I have been really impressed with Hollie (Armitage) across the course of last summer, especially over The Hundred which I think is a really good indicator of how she might play at the next level.”

“On the England A tour to India in November, I thought she was a standout performer in terms of the role she can play in the England side. Linsey (Smith) has been performing for a long period of time at a high level and gives us a high-quality left-arm spin option. With Sophie Ecclestone unavailable for the first three IT20 matches, Linsey is, in my opinion, the second-best left-arm spinner in the country in T20 format.”

“She has recently been to the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and Super Smash in New Zealand where she has enhanced her skills and played a lot of cricket. Both selections give us an opportunity to test our depth and develop a wider playing group capable of delivering on the international stage across a very congested and demanding schedule in 2024/25.”

“Over the years, New Zealand have always been a strong opponent and we look forward to the challenge of adapting to new conditions and playing entertaining cricket. We are looking to build on the successes we had in 2023 and help in growing the women’s game in New Zealand and at home,” said head coach Jon Lewis in a statement.

Head coach Lewis will link up with the team on March 12 after leaving WPL 2024 early. Lewis coaches the UP Warriorz team, whose group league fixtures end on March 11. England’s tour of New Zealand starts in Dunedin on March 19, with further fixtures taking place in Nelson, Wellington and Hamilton.

“The short window of just one or two days between the end of the WPL and the first IT20 in New Zealand has meant we have needed to balance the challenges of long-term workload management for players, allowing participation in the WPL and ensuring we give clarity to the group of players preparing for the first three IT20s.”

“As a result, we have named two IT20 squads with the WPL players being available for the fourth and fifth matches of the series. All players participating in the WPL were given our backing to remain in India for the duration of the tournament. Lauren Bell and Heather Knight have withdrawn from the WPL to ensure they can be available for all IT20 games in New Zealand.”

They withdrew once they learnt that the WPL regulations don’t allow for replacements mid-tournament, not wanting their respective WPL teams to be disadvantaged by their early departure. England Women head coach Jon Lewis will leave the WPL early to lead the squad preparations in New Zealand,” said Jonathan Finch, Director of England Women’s cricket.

England will also have an ‘A’ squad to travel to New Zealand, with Kirstie Gordon to lead the side in their T20 matches, while Grace Scrivens captains in the 50-over games. Tash Farrant and Emma Lamb are both included in the squad. Farrant continues to build up her bowling return following a stress fracture. Lamb continues her return to play following lower back surgery.

Following a recurrence of a back injury, Freya Kemp will tour with the A group as a batter only. Managing her workload over the next few months will be an important part of her return to full availability. The A side will be coached by former Durham head coach and current ECB performance batting coach Jon Lewis and will play three T20s and three 50-over matches in Queenstown, Dunedin and Nelson.

England squad for first three T20Is: Hollie Armitage, Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Heather Knight (captain) and Linsey Smith

England squad for fourth and fifth T20Is: Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Heather Knight (captain), Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danielle Wyatt

England ODI squad: Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Heather Knight (captain), Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danielle Wyatt

England Women A squad: Georgia Adams, Hannah Baker, Alice Davidson-Richards, Tash Farrant, Kirstie Gordon (T20 captain), Freya Kemp, Emma Lamb, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Sophie Munro, Grace Potts, Paige Schofield, Grace Scrivens (50-over captain), Seren Smale, Rhianna Southby and Mady Villiers

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – IANS)

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