Worcestershire’s Emily Arlott has been called up to the England squad for next week’s Test against India at Bristol. The 23-year-old seamer took 5-29, including a quadruple-wicket-maiden, for Central Sparks against Southern Vipers last weekend, and joins a 17-player squad which also includes Tash Farrant and newly contracted batter Sophia Dunkley.
There is no room at the inn however for Danni Wyatt, despite having scored 3 consecutive half-centuries in the RHF this season; or Katie George, who is currently injured – otherwise, the squad includes all other centrally contracted players.
If she ultimately plays, Arlott would be perhaps the most left-field England selection since Holly Colvin’s debut as an unknown teenager in 2005. Like Colvin, she would be a wicket-taking option – while she isn’t going to break the speed gun, Arlott is zippy and can attack the stumps while also moving the ball away from the right-hander. Crucially, she won’t give much away either.
England have also taken the opportunity of this squad announcement to instate Nat Sciver as official vice captain on a permanent basis, taking over from Anya Shrubsole as Heather Knight’s deputy. At 28, Sciver is only 2 years younger than Knight, so if there is an element of succession planning here it is quite short-term. However, it may prove to be a smart move if Knight is planning to retire in the next couple of years, with (as yet) no obvious heir amongst the younger generation.
All 17 players are already in quarantine ahead of the 4-day Test, which begins next Wednesday; but the squad is likely to be trimmed before then to allow players to turn out for their regional sides in the RHF.
- Heather Knight (Western Storm, captain)
- Emily Arlott (Central Sparks)
- 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, vice captain)
- Anya Shrubsole (Western Storm)
- Mady Villiers (Sunrisers)
- Fran Wilson (Sunrisers)
- Lauren Winfield-Hill (Northern Diamonds)
At the risk of reading too much into this; is the thinking behind the selection of Emily Arlott about sending out a message – this being “the RHF trophy is important, we’re watching and performance will be rewarded even if you don’t have a central contract’ ? (not a bad message I would stress).
Has Arlott sort of usurped Lauren Bell and Issy Wong now as next big thing in the pace bowling department then? Seems she can hurry batters more and is a bit more accurate? Definitely offers something a bit different to our regular bowlers and will be somewhat of an unknown to the Indian players as well. Very interesting selection.
One the suspects the question “Who follows Brunt after she retires” is the biggest in the in-tray at the moment (which may go some way to explain why the squad contains at least 4 candidates for the role (Arlott, Cross, Davies and Farrant) and perhaps other candidates may appear in other squads across the summer.
(Trivia: In October this year Brunt will become older than Edwards was when she retired (impressive for a fast bowler) …… although still short of Clare Taylor who bowled for England when over 40)
Undeserved smack in the face for Danni again!
Danni is building a record that may never be broken (assuming England continue to play Tests) that of most caps without playing a Test. Danni has played 192 England matches (***) without playing a Test whilst her next nearest challenger is Alex Hartley way back on 32 caps without playing a Test.
(***) or is it 193 matches. Cricinfo and Cricbuzz disagree over whether Wyatt or Elwiss played in the 1st ODI against Sri Lanka on 9th Nov 2016. (compare
The ICC website has Elwiss as playing.
Either way Danni should make 200 this summer. Heather is also on 192 – incredibly both Danni and Heather made their debut in the same match and 192 matches later are on the same number of caps. From a purely statistical point of view it would have been great if Danni had been picked for the Test (and yes the run rate would have improved!) thus increasing the chances that Danni and Heather both reach 200 in the same match having debuted together.