Emily Arlott, Lauren Bell earn call-ups as England announce squad for South Africa Test

England have announced the squad for the Test match against South Africa © Getty Images

England have announced a 13-member squad for the only Test against South Africa, scheduled to begin on Monday (June 27) at the  County Ground in Taunton.  Central Sparks’ seamer Emily Arlott and Southern Vipers’ bowler Lauren Bell have earned yet another international call-up for the Test side. Along with these bowlers, Thunder’s Emma Lamb and South East Stars’ Freya Davies and Alice Davidson-Richards have also found a place in the squad for the Test. 

The 24-year-old Arlott earned her first international call-up during India’s tour of England in 2021, while 21-year-old Bell was part of England’s Test squad during the Women’s Ashes series. England’s head coach Lisa Keightley congratulated the newest additions to the squad and spoke about these selections a week ahead of the Test match. “There are a number of new faces in the squad which brings a real level of energy and enthusiasm,” the head coach said. 

“We’re at the beginning of a new ICC Women’s Championship cycle, which starts for us with the India ODIs, and it’s natural that we’re looking forward with one eye on who may be a key player for us come 2025.” 

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Keightley also reflected on the contributions from England’s long-serving pace duo – Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole – and spoke about the opportunities their retirements present to the young players. 

“Similarly with Katherine Brunt retired from Test cricket and Anya Shrubsole from all forms of the international game, a number of bowling spots have opened up which is hugely exciting for those players. I’m sure they’ll all be very keen to grab their opportunity,” she added. 

England will play their first Test match at home since the one-off Test match against India in June 2021. England’s opponents, South Africa have not played any Test match since 2014, while England last faced Australia in the Women’s Ashes Test match in Canberra in February 2022. South Africa have already announced their squad for the Test match under the leadership of Sune Luus, with Marizanne Kapp and Lizelle Lee making their comebacks from illness. 

Also Read: Katherine Brunt retires from Test cricket

England will start their home summer with the multi-format series against South Africa, which starts with the Test match. The two sides will then face each other in three ODIs and three T20Is following the Test match. Later, England and South Africa will join six other nations at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, starting (Friday) June 29.

“It really is a massive summer, with the Commonwealth Games just around the corner, and we can’t wait to get started with the red ball in Taunton,” Keightley said. 

Along with this, England have also announced the England A squad for the practice fixture against South Africa, starting on (Tuesday) June 21. South Africa will face the England A side in a three-day practice match at Arundale. Southern Vipers’ Georgia Elwiss will lead this side, with John Stanworth as their coach.

England’s squad for the Test match:

Heather Knight (C), Natalia Sciver (VC), Emily Arlott, Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Kate Cross, Alice Davidson-Richards, Freya Davies, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb

England A Squad:
Georgia Elwiss (C), Maia Bouchier, Danni Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Freya Kemp, Eve Jones, Ella McCaughan, Kalea Moore, Tara Norris, Grace Potts, Grace Scrivens, Alexa Stonehouse, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt