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January 12, 2005
The England selectors are relying on the players who helped beat New Zealand 3-2 in the one-day series at home in 2004 in their bid to win the World Cup in South Africa, which starts at the end of March.
Clare Connor, 28, retains the captaincy, while Clare Taylor will play her fifth cricket World Cup: she also participated in the 1995 women's football version. New Zealand's Debbie Hockley remains the only woman - and Javed Miandad the only man - who have played in six cricket World Cups.
"We remain consistent in selection and have shown faith in our squad which has paid dividends during recent series," said the England head coach Richard Bates. "The only addition to the squad that played against New Zealand in the summer is Beth Morgan, who will add further strength to our seam-bowling attack. We have opted to travel with a squad of 15 rather than 14 to ensure a balanced squad which gives us both depth and cover as well as one which suits the busy schedule.
"We are evolving as a squad, and our performances in recent series against South Africa and New Zealand have been good overall. We have, though, been striving to improve in some key areas of our game and I'm very happy with the progress the squad continues to make. The girls' professionalism and commitment is evident, and they are showing a real desire to win. The prospect of challenging for the World Cup is one which we are all relishing."
England arrive in South Africa on March 8 and will play four warm-up matches before their opening World Cup game against Australia on March 22. New Zealand are the current holders.
England squad Clare Connor (capt), Rosalie Birch, Arran Brindle, Katherine Brunt, Charlotte Edwards, Lydia Greenway, Isa Guha, Jenny Gunn, Beth Morgan, Laura Newton, Lucy Pearson, Nicky Shaw, Jane Smit (wk), Claire Taylor, Clare Taylor.
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