Lancashire teenager Sophie Ecclestone has been rewarded for her impressive Twenty20 International performances against Pakistan with a call-up to England’s ODI squad for the tour to the West Indies.
The 17-year-old took three wickets in two matches against Pakistan earlier this summer and is in line to make her ODI debut in the Caribbean, with fellow-left-arm spinner Alex Hartley also included in the squad for the first time.
Yorkshire’s Beth Langston will also travel to the West Indies for the five-match ODI series after initially being ruled out after breaking her left thumb during a training match earlier this month.
But the 24-year-old has recovered quicker than expected and returns to the international fold for the first time since making her Twenty20 International debut, also in the West Indies, three years ago
Alex Hartley celebrates dismissing Pakistan’s Iram Javed in T20 match at Chelmsford
Middlesex’s Fran Wilson misses out breaking her left little finger during training last week.
Head coach Mark Robinson hopes his side can build on a stunning summer which saw the launch of the inaugural Kia Women’s Super League after England registered 3-0 ODI and T20I series wins against Pakistan.
“We’ve done a lot of soul searching and worked incredibly hard since the ICC Women’s World T20 at the start of this year,” he said.
“The summer series against Pakistan couldn’t have gone any better in terms of results, but more importantly the manner in which we went about playing our cricket was really pleasing.
“This tour to the West Indies will now give us a good idea of how far we have come. The heat of Jamaica and the ability of the West Indies team will test our skills, fitness and mental strength. Everyone is hugely excited by the challenge ahead.
“The unfortunate news of losing Fran Wilson with a broken finger at the end of last week has been tempered by the news that Beth Langston’s broken thumb is healing more quickly than expected, and she should be able to play a full part in the second half of the tour. Beth is bowling with good pace at the moment, and will give us another option with the ball.
“Sophie Ecclestone’s inclusion is a reward for all the promise she showed against Pakistan this summer. Fellow left-arm spinner Alex Hartley had a fantastic Kia Super League for Surrey Stars, and along with the two off-spinners – Laura Marsh and Danielle Hazell – the four spinners gives the bowling attack lots of options and balance.”
All five of England women’s fixtures against the West Indies will be played in Jamaica during a two-week window, starting on Saturday 8th and Monday 10th October with the first two ODIs at the Trelawny Stadium in the Montego Bay area of the Caribbean island.
The remaining three ODIs will form England’s sixth round of matches in the ICC Women’s Championship – the qualification tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup in England in 2017 – and will be played at Sabina Park, Kingston on 14th, 16th and 19th October.
Stafanie Taylor’s West Indies side currently sit in second place in the ICC Women’s Championship table, one place and one point above England, having last been in action in South Africa in February, when they recorded a 2-1 ODI series victory.
With just two rounds of the Championship remaining, a 3-0 score line against the West Indies would see Heather Knight’s England side secure one of the four automatic qualification spots for the home 50-over World Cup next summer.
Following the series in the West Indies, England women will travel to Sri Lanka in November to contest their final round of the ICC Women’s Championship. England women last toured in the Caribbean in November 2013, recording a 2-0 ODI series victory against the hosts.
England women’s squad for West Indies tour:
Heather Knight (Berkshire), Anya Shrubsole (Somerset), Tammy Beaumont (Kent), Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire), Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire), Georgia Elwiss (Sussex), Jenny Gunn (Warwickshire) Alexandra Hartley (Middlesex), Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire), Amy Jones (Warwickshire), Beth Langston (Yorkshire), Laura Marsh (Kent), Natalie Sciver (Surrey) Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire) Danielle Wyatt (Sussex).