* Uncapped left-arm spinner Alex Hartley included in an England squad for the first time [attached: Hartley in action for England Women's Academy, 2005, for editorial use only, credit Don Miles]
The ECB has today announced a 15-strong England women's squad for the first two Royal London One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Pakistan next week.
Monday (20th June) will mark the beginning of a new era for the side, as Heather Knight becomes the 21st captain of the England women's team in the first encounter of the three-match 50-over series against Pakistan, starting at Leicestershire's Fischer County Ground.
Knight will be able to call on a world-class bowling attack, led by newly appointed vice-captain, Anya Shrubsole, and Yorkshire's Katherine Brunt, who will be striving for an early breakthrough in Leicester to record her 100th ODI wicket.
Middlesex left-arm spinner Alex Hartley will be a fresh face in the England dressing room this summer, having been called-up from the England Women's Academy (EWA) for the first time. The 22-year-old has impressed coaches with her early season form with the ball, alongside a series of eye-catching performances with the EWA in Sri Lanka at the start of the year, driving herself into contention for an international debut against Pakistan.
In the absence of Sarah Taylor, Warwickshire and Loughborough Lightning wicket-keeper batsman Amy Jones will be looking to seize her opportunity behind the stumps during this Royal London ODI series, with top-order batsman Lauren Winfield, also offering a second keeping option.
Fran Wilson will present another batting option for Knight and England Women's Head Coach, Mark Robinson, having been recalled to the England squad following a number of strong performances for Middlesex and as captain of the EWA. Wilson last played ODI cricket six years ago, when she made her debut during England women's tour to Sri Lanka in 2010.
Right-arm seam bowler, Beth Langston, has been ruled-out of selection for the three-match Royal London ODI series due to an ankle injury.
England Women's Head Coach, Mark Robinson, said:
"Monday is going to be a very proud day for our new captain and vice-captain, Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole. Under their leadership we will start a new chapter for the England women's team, beginning with the three-match Royal London ODI series against a Pakistan side that cannot be underestimated. Pakistan showed everyone during the ICC World Twenty20 how dangerous they can be, when they beat the hosts India on their own patch. They represent a fresh challenge that as a squad we can't wait to get out there and tackle.
"Congratulations to Alex Hartley on earning her first call-up to an England squad. Alex has worked incredibly hard at her game over the last 12-18 months, and I have been very impressed with her skill as a left-arm spinner in the time that I have been working with her."
England women's squad for the third Royal London ODI against Pakistan in Taunton on Monday 27th June, will be named following the second match in Worcester.
England 6-Russia )
England defeated New Zealand 49-46 to level up the three-match Series at 1-1 heading into the deciding match on Wednesday morning.