Source: WICB Media Athelstan Bellamy

England close to ICC World Cup qualification

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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 on 12th, 15th and 17th November 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* 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 November 1st to November 7th, 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 Heather Knight’s 15-strong squad to take on Sri Lanka still up for grabs.

England Women’s Head Coach, Mark Robinson, said: “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, and 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.”

All four of England women’s fixtures against Sri Lanka will be played in Colombo at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium (RPICS) during a short nine day window, starting with the first ODI on Wednesday 9th November.  The remaining three ODIs will form England’s seventh and final round of matches in the ICC Women’s Championship and the qualification tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup in England in 2017 and will be played on Saturday 12th, Tuesday 15th and Thursday 17th November.

England women last toured against Sri Lanka in 2010, recording a 1-0 ODI series victory against the hosts.

England women’s squad to play against Sri Lanka: 

  Name ODI Caps KSL Team County Team Twitter Handle
1 Heather Knight (captain) 63 Western Storm Berkshire @Heatherknight55
2 Tammy Beaumont 31 Surrey Stars Kent @Tammy_Beaumont
3 Katherine Brunt 92 Yorkshire Diamonds Yorkshire @KBrunt26
4 Georgia Elwiss 22 Loughborough Lightning Sussex @Gelwiss
5 Jenny Gunn 132 Yorkshire Diamonds Warwickshire @gunnjenny
6 Alexandra Hartley 6 Surrey Stars Middlesex @AlexHartley93
7 Danielle Hazell 41 Yorkshire Diamonds Yorkshire @dani1788
8 Amy Jones (wkt) 17 Loughborough Lightning Warwickshire @amyjones313
9 Beth Langston 0 Loughborough Lightning Yorkshire @B_Langers92
10 Laura Marsh 80 Surrey Stars Kent @lauramarsh7
11 Natalie Sciver 28 Surrey Stars Surrey @natsciver
12 Lauren Winfield 22 Yorkshire Diamonds Yorkshire @lozwinfield
13 Fran Wilson 2 Western Storm Middlesex @fwilson07
14 Danielle Wyatt 44 Lancashire Thunder Sussex @Danni_Wyatt
15 To be announced in due course


Additional players to take part in Abu Dhabi preparation camp:

Name ODI Caps KSL Team County Team Twitter Handle
1 Georgia Adams 0 Southern Vipers Sussex @geo_adams
2 Kate Cross 14 Lancashire Thunder Lancashire @katecross16
3 Alice Davidson-Richards 0 Yorkshire Diamonds Kent @alicedr24
4 Sophia Dunkley 0 Surrey Stars Middlesex @dunkleysophia
5 Sophie Ecclestone 2 Lancashire Thunder Lancashire @sophecc223
6 Georgia Hennessy 0 Western Storm Warwickshire @GeorgiaHennessy
7 Hannah Jones 0 Surrey @Hanj1999
8 Emma Lamb 0 Lancashire Thunder Lancashire @EmmaLamb236
9 Bryony Smith 0 Surrey Stars Surrey @BrySmith97

England women’s tour to Sri Lanka 2016 schedule in full:

Date Format Venue
9.11.16 1st ODI R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium (RPICS), Colombo
12.11.16 2nd ODI* R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium (RPICS), Colombo
15.11.16 3rd ODI* R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium (RPICS), Colombo
17.11.16 4th ODI * R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium (RPICS), Colombo

* ICC Women’s Championship fixture

Report courtesy of the ECB