England vs South Africa, women’s Test

In naming the quintet, England has dived into the talent pool which they say has expanded with the greater professionalization of women’s play in England and Wales in recent years. They also plan for a future beyond veteran seam bowlers Anya Shrubsole, who retired from international cricket after England finished second in the World Cup in April, and Katherine Brunt, who announced last week she had played her final Test, although she remains available for selection in other formats.

The Test against South Africa, from June 27-30 in Taunton, is the first part of a multi-format series that will also include three ODIs and three T20Is in July.

Issy Wong, the 20-year-old fast bowler, has been named in the 13 as a traveling reserve as she continues her development while managing her workload.

Right-arm seamer Arlott first came into international consideration a year ago when she was selected in the squad for England’s home test against India on the back of a four-time wicket girl in a five-wicket haul for Central Sparks in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

A tall right swing bowler, Bell has been impressive on the domestic circuit for some time, including her 3 for 12 for Southern Vipers against Lightning in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

The speedy right-armed Davies has played seven ODIs and 17 T20Is and had a part in England’s Ashes and World Cup campaigns earlier this year.

Davidson-Richards will return to the England squad for the first time in four years, having played her only ODI in India in April 2018 and her five T20Is the month before, while fellow all-rounder Lamb made her international debut last summer and her only T20I played against New Zealand in September before making two ODI appearances, at this year’s Ashes and World Cup.

With Lauren Winfield-Hill overlooked for the Test squad and instead named in a 16-player England Women’s A squad for a three-day game against South Africa in Arundel from June 21, Lamb seems most likely to be a partner to become Tammy Beaumont at the top of the order, having fulfilled that role once during the Ashes.

Danni Wyatt, who has also opened in white ball formats with Beaumont, has never played a Test and was also named in the A squad, which will be captained by Georgia Elwiss with John Stanworth as head coach. Nine of those selected in the A-squad are still playing international cricket.

Lisa Keightley, England women’s head coach, expects the newcomers to inject “energy and enthusiasm” into the test squad.

“We are at the beginning of a new ICC Women’s Championship cycle, which begins for us with the Indian ODIs [in September]and it’s normal that we look ahead with one eye on who could be a key player for us in 2025,” said Keightley.

“As with Katherine Brunt who retired from Test cricket and Anya Shrubsole of all forms of the international game, there are a number of bowling spots that have become vacant which is extremely exciting for those players. I’m sure they are all very happy to have their chance.

“We need to strike a balance between having the right backup for the senior team while providing playing opportunities. We need our players to play as much cricket as possible, that’s why we have an intentionally small test team while the England Women’s A team are in action against South Africa. It’s really been a huge summer, with the Commonwealth Games just around the corner, and we can’t wait to start with the red ball in Taunton.”

England Women A: Georgia Elwiss (capt), Maia Bouchier, Danni Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Freya Kemp, Eve Jones, Ella McCaughan, Kalea Moore, Tara Norris, Grace Potts, Grace Scrivens, Alexa Stonehouse, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt.

Valkerie Baynes is general editor at ESPNcricinfo

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