Natasha Farrant recalled for New Zealand tour; Anya Shrubsole out due to injury

Natasha Farrant (l) celebrating with Amy Jones. © ECB

Left-arm seamer Natasha Farrant has been recalled to the England squad for next month’s tour of New Zealand, the cricket board announced on Thursday (Jan 14). The two sides will play three ODIs and three T20Is starting February 23.

The 24-year-old Farrant, who last played in 2018 and was a part of the T20 World Cup squad later that year, impressed in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy last year, picking up nine wickets, the most for South East Stars. She had garnered hopes of making a comeback after almost quitting the game before being one of the players to have been handed a domestic professional contract last year and now has a chance to add to her one ODI and 14 T20I caps.

Anya Shrubsole has been ruled out of the tour due to a knee injury while a stress fracture in her back ruled Katie George out. Natalie Sciver has been announced as the vice-captain in Shrubsole’s absence. Sophia Dunkley, who played the home series against West Indies, retained her spot in the squad. Issy Wong will also travel with the squad as part of her development

“We’re hugely excited about getting over to New Zealand and maintaining our commitment to play international cricket despite these challenging times,” said Jonathan Finch, Director of Women’s Cricket in England.

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“We have a really important 24 months in front of us with two ICC Global Events, the Women’s Ashes and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Our ambition is to be successful across all these events and this tour is the first step towards achieving that.”

“2020 has provided many challenges, but under the leadership of Lisa and Heather we have a group of players who are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

The tour will kickoff with an ODI at the Hagley Oval with the remaining two games to be played at the University of Otago Oval. Sky Stadium, Eden Park and Bay Oval will host the three T20Is.

The England players will fly out on January 24 and undergo a 14-day quarantine upon reaching New Zealand as per the Government norms.

Squad: Heather Knight (c), Natalie Sciver (vc), Katherine Brunt, Tammy Beaumont, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Natasha Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danielle Wyatt

Fixtures:

February 23 – 1st ODI – Hagley Oval

February 26 – 2nd ODI – University of Otago Oval

February 28 – 3rd ODI – University of Otago Oval

March 3 – 1st T20I – Sky Stadium

March 5 – 2nd T20I – Eden Park

March 7 – 3rd T20I – Bay Oval