England vs Sri Lanka: Mahika Gaur, Bess Heath earn maiden call-ups

17-year-old left-arm pacer Mahika Gaur plays for Manchester Originals in The Hundred, while 21-year-old Bess Heath represents Northern Superchargers

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Mahika Gaur

Mahika Gaur (L) and Bess Heath (R) in action in The Hundred © Getty Images

Left-arm pacer Mahika Gaur and Wicket-keeper batter Bess Heath have earned their maiden call-ups as England announce the limited over squads for the series against Sri Lanka on Friday (August 18). The series is scheduled to start with the T20Is from August 31.

“We have named a squad with a good blend of youth and experience and see this as an important series to test the depth of playing pool. We have some exciting, new young players coming in who we are looking forward to working with,” Jon Lewis, head coach, said.

Apart from these Gaur and Heath, Freya Kemp has made a return to the T20I squad after recovering from the stress fracture she had in her back. Lauren Filer, who impressed everyone in the one-off Women’s Ashes Test, has earned her maiden T20I call-up and will add variety to the pace attack alongside Kate Cross, Lauren Bell, and Issy Wong.

England have decided to rest number ranked limited over bowler Sophie Ecclestone and batter Sophia Dunkley from both formats. Allrounder Natalie Sciver-Brunt will sit out from the T20I side and Danielle Wyatt has been rested from the ODI squad as part of the workload management. Despite some stellar performances in The Hundred, experienced opener Tammy Beaumont hasn’t been recalled to the T20I side even as she continues to be an integral part of the ODI squad. In-form Southern Brave batter Maia Bouchier is part of both the squads.


17-year-old Gaur already has some experience at the international level having represented UAE in 19 T20Is. The Reading born tall fast bowler plays for Thunder in regional cricket and had put in impressive performances during the ongoing season in both the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy (RHF Trophy) as well as the Charlotte Edwards (CE Cup). She has been part of the England A squad that faced Australia A during the recently concluded Women’s Ashes.

“Mahika (Gaur) is a very exciting talent. Left-arm swing bowlers of over six-foot tall are unique in women’s cricket. Mahika has shown consistently this summer that she is a threat with the new ball and we are excited to see how she performs at international level,” Lewis added.

21-year-old Heath is an aggressive wicketkeeper-batter and has put in some notable performance England A during the Australia A series. She has been consistent performer in domestic cricket for Northern Diamonds and. Heath plays Northern Superchargers in The Hundred and has played some notable cameos for them. She has also represented Melbourne Stars during the last season of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).

"Bess (Heath) is an all-action cricketer who impacts games and is a great fit for us and how we want to play. She impressed in the A team games against Australia earlier in the summer and she also provides cover for Amy Jones with the gloves,” Lewis said.

“With a World Cup coming up next year it’s imperative we develop the squad and players can gain international caps and experience. After an incredible Ashes summer, we want to maintain momentum on and off the field and look forward to getting started.”

England T20I squad: Heather Knight (c), Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Issy Wong, Danielle Wyatt

England ODI squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Natalie Sciver-Brunt


August 31, 1st T20I

September 2, 2nd T20I

September 6, 3rd T20I

September 9, 1st ODI

September 12, 2nd ODI

September 14, 3rd ODI