The three England women in Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year have been named in a squad of 14 for the first two ODIs of the summer, against South Africa at Worcestershire and Hove.
Anya Shrubsole, who also became the first female to appear on the book’s cover, captain Heather Knight and all-rounder Nat Sciver were named in this year’s list for their performances in the Women’s World Cup, at which they beat South Africa in a pulsating semi-final.
It will be the first time the two sides have met since that dramatic match in Bristol, while the opening game at Worcester will also be the first time England have played a 50-over game on home soil since they lifted the World Cup trophy at Lord’s.
The South Africa series forms part of the ICC Women’s Championship and marks England’s first steps on the way to qualification for the 2021 50-over World Cup.
Katherine Brunt, Georgia Elwiss, Laura Marsh, Sarah Taylor and Lauren Winfield all return having missed the tour to India, but there’s no room for World Cup winners Fran Wilson or Alex Hartley.
The England and South Africa ODI series will be followed by a T20 tri-series, also involving New Zealand, before three ICC Women’s Championship ODIs between England and New Zealand at the beginning of July.
Coach Mark Robinson said: ‘It should be a really exciting summer against two of the best teams in the world.
‘South Africa are an up-and-coming team with some really dangerous players. They pushed us close the last time we met them and we will have to be at our best to beat them.’
Squad: Heather Knight (captain, Berkshire), Tammy Beaumont (Kent), Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire), Sophie Ecclestone (Lancashire), Georgia Elwiss (Sussex), Jenny Gunn (Warwickshire), Danielle Hazell (Yorkshire), Amy Jones (wicketkeeper, Warwickshire), Laura Marsh (Kent), Anya Shrubsole (Somerset), Nat Sciver (Surrey), Sarah Taylor (wicketkeeper, Sussex), Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire), Danni Wyatt (Sussex)
Fixtures: Saturday, June 9: 1st ODI v South Africa, Blackfinch New Road, Worcester, 11am; Tuesday, June 12: 2nd ODI v South Africa, 1st Central County Ground, Hove, 1pm; Friday, June 15: 3rd ODI Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, 2pm
Photo: Dave Hunt/EPA/BackpagePix