Women’s Ashes 2023: Guide to the England squad
England named a 15-player squad for the one-off Test at Trent Bridge that acts as the curtain-raiser for a much-anticipated 2023 Women’s Ashes series.
Here we take a look at those picked, as well as some of the individuals likely to come into contention when the white-ball matches get under way.
Heather Knight (Age: 32, Combined England caps: 237)
Her England sides have rarely been able to measure up to their Ashes rivals in recent years. There are caveats, of course, not least because Australia have generational talents as a result of a professional set-up that is the envy of the rest of the world. There does not seem to be any pressure, internally or externally, on the England captain but that could change if the urn returns home with the tourists.
Tammy Beaumont (32, 209)
Stranded on 99 T20 caps after being overlooked for more than a year now due to a 108.37 strike-rate that is considered sluggish by modern standards. There is no evidence England will move on from her in Tests and ODIs – she excels in the latter format where she averages in excess of 40 after 103 outings.
Emma Lamb (25, 12)
Enjoyed a breakout summer last year and may well partner Beaumont in Tests and ODIs at the top of the order. Particularly proficient when offered any width, she looks to have found some fluency as she is at the sharp end of the run charts in both the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and Charlotte Edwards Cup.
Danni Wyatt (32, 245)
Seems steeled for a tone-setting role as opener in T20s and a position in the middle-order in ODIs. Has made more than 100 appearances in both white-ball formats and while not as consistent as she might have liked, the big-hitting batter can be a juggernaut if allowed to get into her stride – Australia found that out the hard way as she blitzed a 56-ball T20 hundred against them in Canberra in November 2017.
Nat Sciver-Brunt (30, 210)
Coming into this summer at the peak of her powers, harvesting runs with aplomb in all tournaments and formats, domestic and international. She may very well be the best all-rounder in the world currently – no mean feat given the competition – and how England fare may rest on how she performs.
Alice Capsey (18, 19)
Still adapting to life as an international cricketer after being thrust into the limelight last year, she is nevertheless a shoo-in for the limited-overs matches. Whether England pull the trigger on her for the Nottingham Test remains to be seen but the teenage all-rounder clearly has something special about her and is not burdened – similar to one or two others – by past failures against Australia.
Sophia Dunkley (24, 75)
Thrived when pushed to open alongside Wyatt in T20s, embracing the attack-minded philosophy espoused by head coach Jon Lewis and regularly helping England get off to a flyer in the powerplay. If the Londoner brings that mindset into the longer formats then she could give Australia something to think about.
Amy Jones (29, 165)
Remains England’s first choice with the gloves across the spectrum – as is the case with the best wicketkeepers, her work goes largely unnoticed – although her batting returns in recent years have diminished. Yet to register a three-figure score for England but more than capable of scoring heavily.
The best keeper in the world doing her thing! 👊 pic.twitter.com/NFVop5QZvc
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 13, 2023
Alice Davidson-Richards (29, 13)
Something of a late bloomer, the all-rounder became just the third English woman to score a hundred on Test debut with a fabulous 107 against South Africa 12 months ago. That was her first international appearance in four years but she has now assumed more responsibility within the England team.
Danielle Gibson (22, 0)
The all-rounder, who was a travelling reserve at this year’s T20 World Cup, looks in line to win her first senior cap, given fine recent form with bat and ball for Western Storm. An effective seam bowler and aggressive with the bat, she has been described by Lewis as “a pretty dynamic player” and someone who “gives us flexibility in terms of selection”.
Sophie Ecclestone (24, 130)
The top-ranked bowler in both ODIs and T20s, England will be looking to rely on the slow left-armer to provide incisive breakthroughs and keep things tight. She has struggled to impose herself on Australia in the past but the tourists will still be wary and eager to keep such an accomplished spinner subdued. As well as being a considerable bowling threat, she can also be counted on for lower-order runs.
Kate Cross (31, 73)
The seamer last month described how persistent setbacks in her battle against a tropical disease had taken a toll on her mental health and cut into her playing time. Might be short on match fitness having played just half a dozen matches since February but remains key for England across all formats.
Issy Wong (21, 13)
The retirement of Katherine Sciver-Brunt leaves some big shoes to fill but the fast bowler has shown over the last 12 months she is a big-game player. Has already lit the touch paper for the series by suggesting it might be a “pretty good time” to face the Women’s Ashes holders and double world champions.
Lauren Bell (22, 15)
Like Capsey, Wong and a couple of others, the 6ft fast bowler is yet to come up against Australia in her burgeoning international career. Has put in a couple of impressive performances since being drafted into the international side last summer, becoming a regular in all three formats.
Lauren Filer (22, 0)
The uncapped pace bowler – something of a surprise call-up with a number of centrally contracted players seemingly ahead of her in the queue to replace Katherine Sciver-Brunt – has been a star performer in Western Storm’s last two campaigns. She has taken eight wickets in four Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy matches this year, and previously represented England Academy.
Sarah Glenn (23, 55)
The leg-spinner dovetails expertly in the middle overs alongside the slightly more senior Ecclestone and junior Charlie Dean as part of a threatening slow bowling contingent in white-ball internationals. Still has aims to be considered a genuine all-rounder and hopes to make her Test debut in the future.
Charlie Dean (22, 33)
Developed into a distinguished member of the England side in the last couple of years, taking 56 wickets across all formats with her off-spin. Found herself at the centre of a ‘Mankad’ controversy late last summer but, while the interminable debate rumbled, she quietly moved on with her career.
2023 Women’s Ashes schedule
LV= Insurance Test Match: Trent Bridge, June 22-26
First Vitality IT20: Edgbaston, July 1
Second Vitality IT20: Kia Oval, July 5
Third Vitality IT20: Lord’s July 8
First ODI: Seat Unique Stadium, July 12
Second ODI: Ageas Bowl. July 16
Third ODI: Cooper Associates County Ground, July 18