Current ODI World Champions and World’s number one ODI side England, have included 18-year- old left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone in their squad. Ecclestone plays domestic cricket for Lancashire and will replace the world cup winning squad’s unused member and right-arm seamer Beth Langston. England made only one change in their World Cup-winning squad before the multi-format Ashes. Heather Knight’s team will look to regain the Ashes in the multi-format series that begins from October 22.
Lancashire’s Ecclestone has played two ODI’ s and two T20I’s for her nation but was not a part of the recently contracted 18 members.
The team’s coach, Mark Robinson, said: “It’s a hugely exciting tour and one we are really looking forward to. Australia on their home soil will be a further test of the progress we have made.”
He continued, “We said before the World Cup that the final at Lord’s was never going to be our destination, it was just part of the journey, and that journey continues with this tour. Sophie Ecclestone has finished school now and has had a great summer domestically. Her selection will provide another option to our attack.”
Australia holds the Ashes currently, reclaiming the urn in 2015 when they secured a 10-6 win in England, with victories in two ODI’ s, the one-off Test and one T20. The previous tour to Australia had seen England triumph, winning the Test (worth six points at the time), one ODI and one T20 to give them a 10-8 score overall. Five of this England squad – Tammy Beaumont, Alex Hartley, Laura Marsh, Fran Wilson, and Ecclestone – were not in the 2013-14 touring party.
Knight, who will captain her first series against Australia, said: “Ashes tours don’t come around all too often so it’s always a special opportunity. Australia is going to be very strong opponents on their home soil so we’ll have to be at our best, across all three formats. Winning the World Cup was a dream come true but it doesn’t get much bigger than the Ashes. We weren’t able to win in 2015 so I know that the whole group will be intent on regaining the trophy this time around.”
The England squad for Women’s Ashes :
H Knight (captain, Berkshire); T Beaumont (Kent), K Brunt (Yorkshire), S Ecclestone (Lancashire), G Elwiss (Sussex), J Gunn (Warwickshire), A Hartley (Lancashire), D Hazell (Yorkshire), L Marsh (Kent), A Shrubsole (Somerset), N Sciver (Surrey), S Taylor (wicketkeeper, Sussex), F Wilson (Middlesex), L Winfield (Yorkshire), D Wyatt (Sussex).