Emily Arlott earns maiden call-up as England announce squad for India Test

Emily Arlott in action © Laura Malkin

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the 17-member squad for the only Test against India, which is scheduled to begin on June 16 at the County Ground in Bristol. While Natasha Farrant retains her place in the squad from the side that toured New Zealand, Central Sparks and Worcestershire seamer Emily Arlott has earned her maiden international call-up.

Arlott, who made her List-A debut for Worcestershire in 2013, has had her share of ups and downs over the years. However, the 23-year-old has been consistent with her performances over the last couple of years. She took 19 wickets in 13 matches across formats in 2019. 

Although she did not do much in the curtailed 2020 season, Arlott has been in good form in the ongoing Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. In fact, she took five for 29 including a hat-trick and helped the Sparks defend a moderate total against the Southern Vipers in the third round of the tournament last week.

ALSO READ: 

Farrant, who was not a part of the centrally contracted list of players, will continue to be part of the squad on her professional contract for the domestic players. After having not played for England since the tri-nation T20I series in 2018, the left-arm seamer made a comeback in the New Zealand tour. 

Her selection comes on the back of the brilliant form she has shown in the RHF Trophy with nine wickets in three matches. If Farrant gets a chance to play, it will be her debut in Test cricket.

South East Stars allrounder Sophia Dunkley, who earned her maiden central contract for 2021-22 season, has also been included in the squad. Dunkley has shown a lot of promise with her performances in the RHF Trophy. It remains to be seen whether she gets a chance to make her Test debut come June 16.

While Heather Knight would continue to lead the side, Natalie Sciver has been confirmed as her deputy across all formats. Although 17 players have been selected, the squad is likely to be trimmed ahead of the Test match to allow the non-selected players could play the next round of RHF Trophy matches.

ALSO READ: It’s a marathon, not a sprint: Sophia Dunkley not too worried about England selection

Speaking about the squad, Head Coach Lisa Keightley said that it was hard to pick the team, given the balance of needing cover in a COVID world while wanting to give players as much chance as possible to play cricket.

“We want players to have opportunities out in the middle, so we are looking to reduce our numbers slightly ahead of the Test to give the non-selected players that chance,” she added.

Thrilled about the packed calendar for England over the next 18 months, Keightly said, “We have been working really hard across the last ten weeks, India are a strong side, and it is the beginning of a two-year journey for us that takes in two ICC World Cups, an Ashes and the Commonwealth Games.” 

England Squad: Heather Knight (c), Emily Arlott, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Natasha Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Natalie Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill