England Women have today announced their squad for the Women’s World Cup, with captain Heather Knight and wicket-keeper Sarah Taylor included subject to completing their return to full fitness.
England Women’s first match of the 11th Women’s World Cup, the third tournament under the auspices of ICC, will come against India in front of a sell-out crowd at Derby on 24 June and Knight is on course to lead out the side, should her recovery continue as scheduled.
Knight will take control of a young squad, with five players in the group – Alex Hartley, Beth Langston, Nat Sciver, Fran Wilson and Lauren Winfield – set to experience their first 50-over World Cup. By contrast, Katherine Brunt, twice a World Cup winner, will take part in her fourth 50-over World Cup.
More experience comes in the form of all-rounders Jenny Gunn and Laura Marsh, who were also part of England’s winning side in 2009, alongside Taylor and current vice-captain Anya Shrubsole.
Knight, who has been recovering from a metatarsal stress fracture to her left foot, has led England to victory in six series as captain since taking over in June 2016.
England Coach Mark Robinson said: “We are hugely excited about the potential of this squad. There will be no better and greater stage than a home World Cup for our players to showcase what they are about and we are really excited about what this group of girls could potentially achieve.
“We are hopeful both Sarah Taylor and Heather Knight will be able to play a full part in the tournament.”
“The return to the squad of Sarah Taylor shows how far she's come and we are hopeful both she and Heather Knight will be able to play a full part in the tournament.”
Captain Heather Knight added: “It’s such a dream to captain England in a World Cup on home soil; it’s not something that many cricketers can say they’ve done and it’s a real honour. There’s so much potential in this group of players and the opportunity ahead of us is really exciting.
“I’m very proud of all the girls in this squad, as cricketers and people. We’re a young group but we’ve made massive strides over the past 12 months and everyone has worked so hard. We know it’s going to be a tough tournament – and we won’t go in as favourites – but backed by home support we’ll do our best to challenge for the trophy.
It’s been frustrating to have my preparations disrupted by injury but I’ve been confronted with more serious injuries in the past so I know the importance of disciplined rehab. I will be committing every moment to that rehab between now and the World Cup getting underway.”
Director of England Women’s Cricket Clare Connor said: “Hosting the ICC Women's World Cup this summer is a wonderful opportunity for our sport and for this exciting England team. We all know the significance of this opportunity and we're determined to maximise it, on and off the pitch.
“The fact that Derby is already sold out is telling of the appetite that exists for women’s cricket in this country and we want to use this tournament to build on that. We have a summer where the best players in the world will be on our doorstep during the World Cup and then the Kia Super League – a brilliant time to inspire new fans and players to the women's game."
Heather Knight (Berkshire, captain)
Tammy Beaumont (Kent)
Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire)
Georgia Elwiss (Sussex)
Jenny Gunn (Warwickshire)
Alex Hartley (Lancashire)
Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire)
Beth Langston (Yorkshire)
Laura Marsh (Kent)
Anya Shrubsole (Somerset)
Nat Sciver (Surrey)
Sarah Taylor (Sussex, wicket-keeper)
Fran Wilson (Middlesex)
Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire)
Danni Wyatt (Sussex)
24 June – England v India, Derby
27 June – England v Pakistan, Leicester
2 July – England v Sri Lanka, Taunton
5 July – England v South Africa, Bristol
9 July – England v Australia, Bristol
12 July – England v New Zealand, Derby
15 July – England v West Indies, Bristol
Fourth is no good enough