England Women in Sri Lanka and India September 15, 2005

Clare Connor misses winter tours

Cricinfo staff

Clare Connor has been forced to miss the winter tours with a foot injury © Getty Images

Clare Connor has been rested from the England Women's squad to tour Sri Lanka and India due to an ongoing foot injury. Charlotte Edwards will take over the captaincy with Arran Brindle being the vice captain.

The all rounder Laura Harper has been brought in to replace Connor and the head coach Richard Bates said: "Clare is suffering from an ongoing foot injury which she has endured through the World Cup and recent series against Australia. She will stay at home over the winter to undergo rehab to ensure she is fit and ready to lead the team against India next summer."

Connor said it is a huge blow to miss the trip but believes it is the sensible option. "I'm hugely disappointed to be missing the chance to tour Sri Lanka and India. After ten years of playing for England and not missing a tour, I will feel a little lost, but know that it is ultimately the right decision to clear up a few persistent injuries and to be fighting fit to lead England again in the summer of 2006."

Bates says that Connor's replacement, Harper, will bring valuable skills to the side: "Laura has had a successful domestic season with the bat and so she comes to offer us further batting depth. She also offers us further options with her off spin."

Caroline Atkins, a batting allrounder from Sussex, is the second new addition following the retirement of Clare Taylor after the recent series against Australia. Bates said:" We have also brought Caroline back into the squad following some solid batting performances through the summer. Along with Arran Brindle, Caroline will add some seam bowling support to our existing four seamers.

"Touring the sub-continent is always very tough as the conditions are very different and challenging. It's going to be a good experience and a valuable part of the development of our young players."

The squad, announced today by Michael Griggs, England Women's chairman of selectors, leaves for Sri Lanka on November 6.

England squad Charlotte Edwards (capt), Arran Brindle, Caroline Atkins, Rosalie Birch, Katherine Brunt, Lydia Greenway, Isa Guha, Jenny Gunn, Laura Harper, Beth Morgan, Laura Newton, Jane Smit, Claire Taylor, Jo Watts