England WPL stars to skip first three NZ T20Is; Tammy Beaumont returns

Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danni Wyatt, Sophie Ecclestone and Alice Capsey will remain in India till the end of the WPL

Women's CricZone Staff
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Nat Sciver-Brunt in action © Getty Images

England T20I regulars Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danni Wyatt, Sophie Ecclestone and Alice Capsey will miss the first three matches of the five-match T20I series in New Zealand and will be available for the entirety of the Women's Premier League (WPL) with England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) allowing the quartet to participate in the league India. England have named the squads for the tour with the experienced Tammy Beaumont making a comeback to the T20I side.

Earlier, skipper Heather Knight, who was signed by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), opted out of the WPL alongside UP Warriorz pacer Lauren Bell. Knight will lead the T20I side with Bell making to both the squads.Mumbai Indians' Issy Wong will also be available for the full season as she hasn't been picked on any of the sides along with Kate Cross, who will join England for the ODI leg in New Zealand.

"The short window of just one or two days between the end of the WPL and the first T20I in New Zealand has meant we have needed to balance the challenges of long-term workload management for players, allowing participation in the WPL and ensuring we give clarity to the group of players preparing for the first three IT20s.“As a result, we have named two T20I squads with the WPL players being available for the fourth and fifth matches of the series. All players participating in the WPL were given our backing to remain in India for the duration of the tournament," Jonathan Finch, Director of England women's cricket, said.

“Lauren Bell and Heather Knight have withdrawn from the WPL to ensure they can be available for all T20I games in New Zealand.“They withdrew once they learnt that the WPL regulations don't allow for replacements mid-tournament, not wanting their respective WPL teams to be disadvantaged by their early departure."

In the absence of the WPL bound players, uncapped Hollie Armitage and left-arm Linsey Smith has been called up to the squad for the first three T20Is with the series starting two days after the WPL final on March 17.

"This tour is another important step in our build-up to the T20I World Cup in Bangladesh later this year. We’re delighted to bring in Hollie Armitage and Linsey Smith to the T20I group, Jon Lewis, England head coach, said. "I have been really impressed with Hollie across the course of last summer, especially over The Hundred which I think is a really good indicator of how she might play at the next level. On the England A tour to India in November, I thought she was a standout performer in terms of the role she can play in the England side."

“Linsey has been performing for a long period of time at a high level and gives us a high quality left-arm spin option. With Sophie Ecclestone unavailable for the first three T20I matches, Linsey is, in my opinion, the second best left-arm spinner in the country in T20 format. She has recently been to the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and Super Smash in New Zealand where she has enhanced her skills and played a lot of cricket

“Both selections give us an opportunity to test our depth and develop a wider playing group capable of delivering on the international stage across a very congested and demanding schedule in 2024/25."

Lewis, who coaches UP Warriorz in the WPL, will leave the tournament early on March 12 to prepare for the international series. 

"Over the years New Zealand have always been a strong opponent and we look forward to the challenge of adapting to new conditions and playing entertaining cricket. We are looking to build on the successes we had in 2023 and help in growing the women’s game in New Zealand and at home," Lewis added.

England have also announced an A squad to face New Zealand A in six-matches - three T20s and three one dayers - with Emma Lamb and Tash Farrant coming back from their injuries. Lamb is recovering from a lower back surgery whereas Farrant had surgery for a stress fracture. Grace Scrivens, who led England in the Under-19 T20 World Cup early last year, will lead the One Day side while left-arm spinner Kirstie Gordon has been named the T20 skipper.

England T20I squad (for first three T20Is): Heather Knight (c), Hollie Armitage, Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones (wk), Linsey Smith

England T20I squad (for last two T20Is): Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones (wk), Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danni Wyatt

England ODI squad: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones (wk), Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danni Wyatt

England A squad: Kirstie Gordon (T20 captain), Grace Scrivens (One Day captain), Georgia Adams, Hannah Baker, Alice Davidson-Richards, Tash Farrant, Freya Kemp, Emma Lamb, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Sophie Munro, Grace Potts, Paige Schofield, Grace Scrivens, Seren Smale, Rhianna Southby, Mady Villiers