South East Stars left-arm seamer Tash Farrant is back in the England squad, almost two years after losing her central contract, for the tour to New Zealand next month.
Farrant, who was let go by Mark Robinson in February 2019, has played previously under current England coach Lisa Keightley for the Western Fury in Australia’s WNCL, and was one of the beneficiaries of the ECB’s new domestic contracts in 2020. Appointed captain of the South East Stars, the Kent-based player performed strongly in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, placing 4th in our Bowling Rankings for the season.
As expected, Farrant’s fellow Star Sophia Dunkley is also included in the squad, having played the last two matches against West Indies in the summer, as is Freya Davies. Issy Wong will also travel to New Zealand with the team, but (oddly) not as part of the official squad – though she will presumably play if circumstances require.
There is also a return for Georgia Elwiss, whose injury woes meant she missed out against the West Indies.
There is disappointing news, however, about England vice-captain Anya Shrubsole, who has picked up a knee injury over the winter. She will remain at home for rehabilitation, along with Katie George, who is suffering from a recurrence of the stress fracture to her back. In Shrubsole’s absence, Nat Sciver has been named vice-captain for the tour.
England will fly out to New Zealand at the end of January to undertake a New Zealand government-mandated 14 day quarantine period, during which they will be able to train together as a squad, before playing in 3 ODIs and 3 T20s. Unfortunately, hopes of including Australia in a tri-series have fallen by the wayside due to the logistics of accommodating multiple teams in quarantine simultaneously.
England fans will be able to watch the matches on BT Sport, but may wish to stock up on coffee, as they face the dilemma of either a very late night or a very early morning for several of the fixtures!
Tuesday February 23: 1st ODI, New Zealand v England (Hagley Oval, 1am GMT)
Friday February 26: 2nd ODI, New Zealand v England (University of Otago Oval, 10pm GMT)
Sunday February 28: 3rd ODI, New Zealand v England (University of Otago Oval, 10pm GMT)
Wednesday March 3: 1st IT20, New Zealand v England (Wellington Sky Stadium, 2am GMT)
Friday March 5: 2nd IT20, New Zealand v England (Eden Park, 2am GMT)
Sunday March 7: 3rd IT20, New Zealand v England (Bay Oval, 11pm GMT)
- Heather Knight (Western Storm)
- Tammy Beaumont (Lightning)
- Katherine Brunt (Northern Diamonds)
- Kate Cross (Thunder)
- Freya Davies (South East Stars)
- Sophia Dunkley (South East Stars)
- Sophie Ecclestone (Thunder)
- Georgia Elwiss (Southern Vipers)
- Tash Farrant (South East Stars)
- Sarah Glenn (Central Sparks)
- Amy Jones (Central Sparks)
- Nat Sciver (Northern Diamonds)
- Mady Villiers (Sunrisers)
- Fran Wilson (Sunrisers)
- Lauren Winfield-Hill (Northern Diamonds)
- Danni Wyatt (Southern Vipers)