Wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor and captain Heather Knight have been named in England Women’s 15-player squad for the Women’s World Cup in England this summer.
Taylor, 28, took an indefinite break from the game in 2016 to deal with anxiety issues but re-entred the fold at an England camp in April.
Knight has also been named as captain despite suffering a metatarsal stress fracture to her left foot. She has led England to victory in six series as captain since taking over in June last year.
England Women’s first match of the 11th Women’s World Cup, the third tournament under the auspices of ICC, will come against India at a sold-out Derby on June 24 and Knight will lead if her recovery is completed on schedule. Anya Shrubsole, the vice-captain, would be favourite to take over if not.
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.
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.
Knight said: “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.”
Clare Connor, ECB director of women’s cricket, 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 (captain, Berkshire)
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 (wicketkeeper, Sussex)
Fran Wilson (Middlesex)
Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire)
Danni Wyatt (Sussex)
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