Charlie Dean, Maia Bouchier earn maiden Ashes call ups as England announce 17-member squad
Charlie Dean and Maia Bouchier © Getty Images
Heather Knight will lead the 17-member England squad for the upcoming Ashes series, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a press release on Friday (December 17). Charlie Dean and Maia Bouchier will feature in their maiden campaign in a squad largely devoid of any surprises. For the first time in the history, England A side will accompany the senior team and participate in limited-overs fixtures alongside the national team. The multi-format series, which is being looked at as the precursor to the World Cup in New Zealand, will include three T20Is and three ODIs as well.
England have made no changes to their squad that won both ODI and T20I series against New Zealand at home. 23-year-old Bouchier, who made her international debut during the T20I series against New Zealand and was part of the Melbourne Stars in the seventh season of Women’s Big Bash League and her Southern Vipers team-mate Dean, who had an impressive debut series in the ODIs against the same opposition, have kept their places in the squad. Off-spinning allrounder Dean took en wickets from five matches at an average of 19.20 with a best fo 4/36. Georgia Elwiss has missed out on a spot in the senior side, while she is part of the A team.
Head coach Lisa Keightley expressed her excitement heading into her first Ashes campaign as an England coach. "It's always exciting to head to Australia to take on the challenge of winning the Ashes and we're really looking forward to going out there,” she said.
Natasha Farrant, who recently earned her England central contract back has been included in the squad along with Sophia Dunkley, who was amongst the run in the series against India as well as The Hundred. "We've got a nice blend of experienced pros and youngsters, and it's a trip we've been preparing for since the end of our summer. A multi-format series is a great test of all our skills, and we can't wait to get out there," Keightley said.
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England will travel to New Zealand after the conclusion of the Ashes on February 19. The defending champions will start their World Cup title defense on March 5 with a clash against Australia. Keightley believes the series against the no. 1 ranked ODI side will prepare her team for the challenges ahead.
"Similarly, it's also a good chance to get more 50-over cricket under our belts ahead of our defense of the ICC Women's World Cup in New Zealand,” she added.
Other than Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, who was part of the pre-Ashes training squad, will feature in the England A side which will play three One-dayers and three T20s against Australia A squad. Alice Capsey - the teenage sensation - has been included in the A squad for her performance with the Oval Invincibles in the Hundred as well as notable domestic performances.
"This is the first time we've taken an England Women's A squad alongside the senior team, which is a big step forward for us. It gives us great depth and provides so much competition for places. It's also an invaluable development opportunity for those players pushing for senior selection,” Keightley said.
England Squad for Ashes: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Natasha Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wk), Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danielle Wyatt
England A Squad: Emily Arlott, Lauren Bell, Alice Capsey, Alice Davidson-Richards, Georgia Elwiss, Kirstie Gordon, Evelyn Jones, Beth Langston, Emma Lamb, Bryony Smith, Eleanor Threlkeld, Issy Wong.
Women's Ashes Fixtures:
Thursday, January 27-30: Only Test Match, Canberra.
Sunday, February 6: 2nd T20I, Sydney.
Thursday, February 10: 3rd T20I, Adelaide.
Sunday, February 13: 1st ODI, Adelaide.
Wednesday, February 16: 2nd ODI, Melbourne.
Saturday, February 19: 3rd ODI, Melbourne.
England A v Australia A Fixture:
Wednesday, January 26*: 1st T20, England Women A v Australia A
Friday, January 28*: 2nd T20, England Women A v Australia A
Sunday, January 30*: 3rd T20, England Women A v Australia A
Saturday, February 5*: 1st 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A
Wednesday, February 9*: 2nd 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A
Friday, February 11*: 3rd 50-over match, England Women A v Australia A