NEWS: England Rest Stars, Call Up Alice Davidson-Richards, Bryony Smith & Katie George For India

England will fly out to India next week for 3 ODIs and a T20 tri-series also involving Australia without two of their biggest stars, with coach Mark Robinson taking the rare opportunity of a non-Championship ODI series and some fairly inconsequential T20s to take a look at some of the talent waiting in the wings.

Sarah Taylor and Katherine Brunt are rested, the latter having picked up a back injury in WBBL, with three potential new caps called up to the squad for the first time: Kent all-rounder Alice Davidson-Richards, Surrey opening batsman Bryony Smith, and Hampshire seamer Katie George.

Smith stands to be the first batsman to debut for England for nearly five years, since Lauren Winfield won her first cap in 2013; and given the schedule of potentially 8 matches (if England reach the tri-series final) all look likely to play a role at some stage on this tour.

20-year-old Smith made her mark as one to watch with the Surrey Stars in KSL01, scoring 94 runs at a Strike Rate of 102; whilst Kent vice-captain Davidson-Richards first came to national attention with a Player of the Match performance in the Roses match in KSL02 – scoring 22* and taking 3-20 as the Yorkshire Diamonds beat the Lancashire Thunder by 28 runs in front of the TV cameras at Headingley.

18-year-old George is perhaps the most surprising selection – a line-and-length seamer, she has had two seasons with the Southern Vipers, but has bowled only 18 overs across the two editions of the Super League, taking 4 wickets at an Economy Rate of 6.6; and she got carted all over Brighton and Hove by Sophie Luff and Stafanie Taylor in last year’s KSL final, but Mark Robinson liked the spirit she showed nonetheless, telling the media: “She went round the park, but she kept running in fearlessly and bowling quick.”

Full Squad

  • Heather Knight (Captain, Berkshire)
  • Tammy Beaumont (Kent)
  • Kate Cross (Lancashire)
  • Alice Davidson-Richards (Kent)
  • Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire)
  • Tash Farrant (Kent)
  • Katie George (Hampshire)
  • Jenny Gunn (Warwickshire)
  • Alex Hartley (Lancashire)
  • Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire)
  • Amy Jones (Warwickshire)
  • Nat Sciver (Surrey)
  • Anya Shrubsole (Somerset)
  • Bryony Smith (Surrey)
  • Fran Wilson (Middlesex)
  • Danni Wyatt (Sussex)

22 thoughts on “NEWS: England Rest Stars, Call Up Alice Davidson-Richards, Bryony Smith & Katie George For India

  1. Mmmmmmm, interesting selection re Ms George.
    Has not really set the place on fire, or is this another selection on “potential “!
    I still feel there are many 18-20 year olds rapidly missing out on chances in the higher echelons, some are just lucky to be in the set up.
    And where are the opportunities for these fringe players of equal or better ability to show their capabilities?


  2. Is there a women’s Lions tour this Spring?

    England will need to find cover and eventual replacements for the current seam attack otherwise they will be one dimensional reliant on taking the pace off the ball & spin.


      • Well I hope the U19s has a strong academy showing.

        It feels like we’re trying to develop players in a lab while the WBBL is giving more youth a chance in a competition that is higher in quality and competition than the KSL.


  3. Undoubtedly “A Good Thing” that some new players are getting a go. If not now, with some players needing rest after a busy 6-9 months and two series coming up which don’t count towards anything beyond the series themselves, then when?

    I would hope that there will be an extended opportunity into the summer series for these three, and possibly others – at least in the ODIs, given that there is the serious business of the WT20 to prepare for. It would be harsh to expect players to prove themselves against India on the subcontinent, and Australia anywhere, and then ditch them if they don’t immediately “come off”.

    A bit of an eye-opener that Winfield was the last batting debutant, considering it’s nearly two years since Edwards and Greenway retired. New blood has to come from somewhere and be given its chance. Have the opportunities been there, when there are so few matches and series that don’t count for SOMETHING? The merit of playing this “meaningless” tour to India suddenly becomes all the more clear.


  4. Winfield is indeed the most recent batting debutant but Emma Lamb is the most recent uncapped player (let alone batsman) to get into a senior squad (Sri Lanka Nov 16).
    Are we to conclude that Bryony Smith has leap-frogged ahead Emma Lamb in the pecking order or is Emma Lamb injured or unavailable ?


    • Trev said it was about picking players for roles – there we’re roles for Smith, ADR and George; but (by implication) not for Lamb… or Freya Davies either.


      • Strange. Lamb and Smith are both attacking openers in T20. Seems like a similar role for both to me, unless there are bigger plans for Smith.


  5. Just asking is precisely the question.
    Just asking, where can the talented young players across the counties go beyond their county teams?
    Just asking, why does it seem a fortunate few get the nod to be elevated to the U19 set up and beyond. Is it simply because they are left handed, bowl or bat, or do they bowl in a unique style, offering variation?
    Or are the girls of a build hopefully to develop into a quick bowler.
    Others are involved in the area development programmes, but this seems a rather jumbled provision at the moment.
    Good Luck to whoever is included and I hope they do well individually and collectively.
    I am just asking are scouts/coaches assigned to view the County games regularly?
    It would be unfair to mention specific names as I may miss a new up and coming young performer who is awaiting her chance for inclusion and development opportunity.


    • Sorry but that last para is just a cop-out.
      Who are all these “18-20 year olds that are rapidly missing out” that you believe exist? If you cannot even name one, then they would appear to be a figment of your imagination. Name some so that we can look at how they are doing at county level.


    • “Just asking, why does it seem a fortunate few get the nod to be elevated to the U19 set up and beyond. Is it simply because they are left handed…”

      England have no left-handed batsmen, and it’s a perennial problem that needs fixing. It would be no surprise if we did prioritise left-handers, and really we should, but it doesn’t seem to be happening – what with E. Jones seemingly leaving the development pathway.


  6. I’d assumed that the ODI leg of the India tour would count for the Women’s Championship. We played them home last time, so surely we should play them in India now (having both SA and NZ over here in the summer follows my pattern, as we played them away last time out). So will we be going back out to India again later or is that not how it works?

    Anyway, it was pretty obvious to me that George was going to get an opportunity sooner or later. The way Robinson talked her up and was obviously taking a personal interest in her development, it was just a question of when rather than if. I’m happy to see her given a chance.

    It will be interesting to see how ADR and Smith get on and what exact roles they play. Missing Taylor and Brunt could be huge for England. Also, what happened to Elwiss?


  7. This tour will be all about blooding the 3 uncapped players and giving the younger players game time (eg Farrant). Not much at stake, overseas, and a load of T20s in the summer to hone skills before the T20 WC. Perfect and understandable.
    Its notable that the two 30+ contracted players plus an injured Brunt and rested Taylor, which collectively make up the 4 longest serving players in the senior squad are not going.


      • The website I looked at for the squad (not this one) didn’t have her in the squad (not that this excuses my inability to spot her name on the list in this article). The alternative is that I claim she is so timeless I’d didn’t realise her age. Either way its good to see Warwickshire with two players (although I think Gunn might have played more often for England in the last 2 years than Warwickshire !).


  8. One or two comments have asked why and how certain players are called up and others aren’t, which is a good debate to have.

    It’s not something I can comment on as, like most of us I guess, I don’t watch enough games.

    But generally speaking, given that there is no domestic 50 over cricket between County and International level, and only the KSL in terms of T20, there is not a lot for Mark Robinson or anybody else to judge on. Therefore it seems to me that there has to be a certain amount of “hunch” involved. There are judgments to be made based not just on a player’s ability and track record, but on their temperament and attitude, because so much of international sport is played between the ears, and a lot of this has to come from just having a hunch about a player.

    The men’s “pathway” has many stages of progress, and plenty of game time at every stage. The women’s game offers far fewer opportunities to prove oneself. A loss of form for an emerging player just as the KSL comes around, for example, and that could be a chance to make a meaningful impression gone for another 12 months. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn things and get a “feel” for a player.

    Hunches are no bad thing – see Trescothick (M) for instance. They won’t always pay off, of course, but MR has, so far, a very strong record in what you might call the “hunch department.” Most of the things he has tried, some perhaps obvious, some less so, have paid dividends. I’d back him to make the right analysis of players strengths, weaknesses, and ability to rise to the next level.

    Broadening the point, I reckon MR is the best thing to happen to English women’s cricket for a long time. Reading and listening to interviews, he never fails to make good, sensible, realistic points, or to give an interesting insight into the development of the game and the players. And he clearly appreciates where the women’s game is in the scheme of things. His point that the game “can’t outgrow its infrastructure” is particularly pertinent.

    His approach as a coach has hallmarks to me of Mike Brearley’s captaincy. He seems inherently able to understand how players and teams tick. His handling of Sarah Taylor, looking in from outside, has given us back a special talent that I thought we might not see again. Beaumont, Hartley, Wyatt and others have also blossomed under him. That’s why, if he has a hunch about a player, I’m happy to trust him.


  9. I think it has to be more than a hunch, it has to be based upon a sound personal technique (not text book) with a spirit or internal drive. The Academy seems to be the only place for this due to other limitations mentioned above and can only be adjudged a failure to this point. Hopefully MR has had an influence on this area.


    • Hot-housing a few players over a few weekends at Luffbra has not worked. The cupboard is looking pretty bare tbh. ECB have to invest in the level below international players & make a semi-pro 50 over competition where players can hone their playing skills & get some decent coaching.


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