Heather Knight will lead a 15-strong England women’s touring party in Colombo next month when her side takes on Sri Lanka in the closing round of the ICC Women’s Championship.
Fresh from a hard-fought 3-2 series victory against the West Indies in the Caribbean, Knight’s England side now need to register just a single win from their final three ICC Women’s Championship fixtures against Sri Lanka to secure one of the four automatic qualification spots for next summer’s ICC Women’s World Cup on home soil.
Hoping to make an impact on the series will be 24-year-old middle-order batsman, Fran Wilson, who is set to make a return to the 50-over international arena six years after making her ODI debut against the same opposition in the Sri Lankan capital. Wilson has earnt her place in the squad after impressing with a match-winning 43 not out against Pakistan in the second NatWest T20I this summer, alongside a succession of strong performances in domestic cricket for Middlesex and Western Storm.
After taking 2-28 on ODI debut in the Caribbean, 17-year-old Sophie Ecclestone is unavailable for selection to tour in Sri Lanka due to school commitments, and Somerset seam-bowler Anya Shrubsole has been ruled-out as she continues to recover from the neck injury that forced her to return from Jamaica earlier this month.
Prior to arriving in Colombo, the squad will take part in a six-day training camp in Abu Dhabi alongside members of the England Women’s Senior Academy, from 1-7 November to help them acclimatise for the four-match series in Colombo. Overall 23 players will travel to the UAE for the preparation camp, with one spot in Knight’s 15-strong squad to take on Sri Lanka still up for grabs.
“I’m really happy with the character and fight that the team showed to win the recent series against the West Indies in the Caribbean," said head coach Mark Robinson.
"We now look ahead to the fresh challenge of taking on Sri Lanka in their own conditions, with the ambition of finishing the busiest ever year for the England women’s team on a high.
“We have initially selected a squad of 14 for the four-match series in Colombo next month, with the 15th player due to be confirmed following our preparation camp in Abu Dhabi, which will involve a wider group of 23 players. The involvement of some of our younger players in the training camp in the UAE presents a fantastic opportunity for their development, and gives us an excellent chance to continue to develop the depth of the talent pool underneath the England women’s squad.
“Fran Wilson gives us another option with the bat, is a strong, athletic fielder, and had an impressive domestic summer. It is disappointing that Anya Shrubsole is still side-lined through injury, but in Beth Langston we have an exciting fresh face, who is ready to be unleashed on the international game.
“Sophie Ecclestone showed a huge amount of promise in the two matches she played in the Caribbean, and she will be involved with the preparation camp in Abu Dhabi, before heading back to school. Tash Farrant meanwhile will remain in Perth where she is currently playing for Western Australia in the Women’s National Cricket League, as we feel that this is the best environment for her development at this stage.”
The first game will take place at the Sinhalese Sports Club with the remaining three scheduled for the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium (RPICS) during a short nine day window, starting with the first ODI on Wednesday 9 November.
The remaining three ODIs will form England’s seventh and final round of matches in the ICC Women’s Championship – the qualification tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup in England in 2017.
England women last toured against Sri Lanka in 2010, recording a 1-0 ODI series victory against the hosts.
Heather Knight (captain, Western Storm and Berkshire)
Tammy Beaumont (Surrey Stars and Kent)
Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire Diamonds and Yorkshire)
Georgia Elwiss (Loughborough Lightning and Sussex)
Jenny Gunn (Yorkshire Diamonds and Warwickshire)
Alexandra Hartley (Surrey Stars and Middlesex)
Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire Diamonds and Yorkshire)
Amy Jones (Loughborough Lightning and Warwickshire)
Beth Langston (Loughborough Lightning and Yorkshire)
Laura Marsh (Surrey Stars and Kent)
Natalie Sciver (Surrey Stars and Surrey)
Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire Diamonds and Yorkshire)
Fran Wilson (Western Storm and Middlesex)
Danielle Wyatt (Lancashire Thunder and Sussex)
Additional player for Abu Dhabi camp
Georgia Adams (Southern Vipers and Sussex)
Kate Cross (Lancashire Thunder and Lancashire)
Alice-Davidson-Richards (Yorkshire Diamonds and Kent)
Sophia Dunkley (Surrey Stars and Middlesex)
Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire Thunder and Lancashire)
Georgia Hennessy (Western Storm and Warwickshire)
Hannah Jones (Surrey)
Emma Lamb (Lancashire Thunder and Lancashire)
Bryony Smith (Surrey Stars and Surrey)
9 November - 1st ODI
12 November - 2nd ODI*
15 November - 3rd ODI*
17 November - 4th ODI*
* ICC Women's Championship fixture