England have called up Northern Diamonds’ keeper and power-hitting batter Bess Heath for their ODI and IT20 series against Sri Lanka starting at the end of the month. 

England Women have announced their Vitality IT20 and Metro Bank ODI squads for the 2023 white-ball series against Sri Lanka.

Fast bowler Mahika Gaur and wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath receive their maiden senior call-ups and are named in both groups after representing England A against Australia A earlier this summer.

Gaur, 17, was part of Thunder’s run to Charlotte Edwards Cup Finals Day and played a key role in their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy matches earlier this year. She also made her debut in the 2023 edition of The Hundred for Manchester Originals.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Heath was part of Northern Diamonds’ Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy-winning side of 2022 and has been in the England A set-up for the last 14 months. Heath has featured in all of Northern Superchargers’ 2023 Hundred matches to date.

Bess Heath playing a sweep shot for the Northern Diamonds in the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

All-rounder Freya Kemp returns to the 20-over format squad after recovering from a stress fracture in her back while seamer Lauren Filer receives her first IT20 call-up after debuting for England in the Test match at this summer’s Ashes.

Top-ranked one-day international and Twenty20 bowler Sophie Ecclestone and batter Sophia Dunkley will miss the series while experienced duo Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danielle Wyatt will sit out of the IT20 and ODI series’ respectively to manage the quartet’s programmes over the next 12 months.

Heather Knight’s side will take on Sri Lanka in three IT20s at a sold-out 1st Central County Ground, Hove (Thursday 31 August), The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford (Saturday 2 September) and The Incora County Ground, Derby (Wednesday 6 September).

The ODI squad will then head to the North East on Saturday 9 September, facing Sri Lanka at Seat Unique Riverside, Chester-le-Street before two matches in the East Midlands at The County Ground, Northampton (Tuesday 12 September) and Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester (Thursday 14 September).

Tickets for England Women v Sri Lanka Women fixtures are on sale and can be accessed via ecb.co.uk/tickets.

Meanwhile, an ECB Development XI will take on Sri Lanka in a warm-up fixture at Arundel on Monday 28 August. The squad will be announced once the final three teams to progress in the Hundred are confirmed.

Head coach Jon Lewis said: “We have named a squad with a good blend of youth and experience and see this as an important series to test the depth of playing pool.

“We have some exciting, new young players coming in who we are looking forward to working with.

“Mahika (Gaur) is a very exciting talent. Left-arm swing bowlers of over six-foot tall are unique in women’s cricket. Mahika has shown consistently this summer that she is a threat with the new ball and we are excited to see how she performs at international level.

“Bess (Heath) is an all-action cricketer who impacts games and is a great fit for us and how we want to play. She impressed in the A team games against Australia earlier in the summer and she also provides cover for Amy Jones with the gloves.

“With a World Cup coming up next year it’s imperative we develop the squad and players can gain international caps and experience.

“The chance to play at venues around the country is exciting. It’s great the opening fixture against Sri Lanka at Hove is now sold out.

“After an incredible Ashes summer, we want to maintain momentum on and off the field and look forward to getting started.”

England Women’s Vitality IT20 squad

Heather Knight (captain, Western Storm)

Lauren Bell (Southern Vipers)

Maia Bouchier (Southern Vipers)

Alice Capsey (South East Stars)

Kate Cross (Thunder)

Charlie Dean (Southern Vipers)

Lauren Filer (Western Storm)

Mahika Gaur (Thunder)

Danielle Gibson (Western Storm)

Sarah Glenn (The Blaze)

Bess Heath (Northern Diamonds)

Amy Jones (Central Sparks)

Freya Kemp (Southern Vipers)

Issy Wong (Central Sparks)

Danielle Wyatt (Southern Vipers)

England Women’s Metro Bank ODI squad

Heather Knight (captain, Western Storm)

Tammy Beaumont (The Blaze)

Lauren Bell (Southern Vipers)

Maia Bouchier (Southern Vipers)

Alice Capsey (South East Stars)

Kate Cross (Thunder)

Charlie Dean (Southern Vipers)

Lauren Filer (Western Storm)

Mahika Gaur (Thunder)

Danielle Gibson (Western Storm)

Sarah Glenn (The Blaze)

Bess Heath (Northern Diamonds)

Amy Jones (Central Sparks)

Emma Lamb (Thunder)

Nat Sciver-Brunt (The Blaze)

Vitality Women’s IT20s

1st IT20: Thursday 31 August 2023, The 1st Central County Ground, Hove
2nd IT20: Saturday 2 September, The Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford
3rd IT20: Wednesday 6 September, The Incora County Ground, Derby

Metro Bank ODI Series

1st ODI: Saturday 9 September, Seat Unique Riverside, Chester-le-Street
2nd ODI: Tuesday 12 September, The County Ground, Northampton
3rd ODI: Thursday 14 September, Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester

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