Women's World Cup 2009 October 1, 2008

Lauren Griffiths earns World Cup call

Cricinfo staff

Charlotte Edwards and Katherine Brunt are two key players in England's World Cup plans © Getty Images
England have named one new face in their squad for the Women's World Cup in Australia next March with Lauren Griffiths, the 21-year-old wicketkeeper, earning her first call-up.

Griffiths plays for Cheshire and was part of this summer's academy squad. She will provide cover for No.1 wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor and replaces Lynsey Askew.

"Playing for England has always been something I've dreamt of and it's a great honour to be selected in the squad, especially for a World Cup," Griffiths said. "I'm out in Australia already playing cricket and training in Victoria for the winter in preparation for the tournament.

"I was so surprised to be included in the squad, but it's a great opportunity and I'm really looking forward to touring with this set of players."

England are one of the favourites for the World Cup having won 12 out of their last 16 ODIs with the other four washed out. During the recent home season they beat West Indies, South Africa and India with impressive ease.

Captain Charlotte Edwards was named the ICC Women's Player of the Year earlier this month and is excited about the challenge in Australia, which will be followed by the first Women's World Twenty20 in England next June

"We've got a great blend of youth and experience going to the World Cup in Australia and we'll be looking to continue our success of 2008," Edwards said. "It won't be easy, but we're well prepared and know what we have to do to ensure we're all performing at our optimum when we arrive in February."

Mark Lane, the head coach, said that the World Cup has been a major target for the team. "All our focus this year has been on the World Cup and the World Twenty20 - everything we have done over the past twelve months has been for these two global tournaments.

"It will be a tough but exciting competition as the standard of women's cricket is continually improving and there are four or five teams who on their day could all become world champions."

Squad Charlotte Edwards (capt),Caroline Atkins, Katherine Brunt, Holly Colvin, Lydia Greenway, Lauren Griffiths, Isa Guha, Jenny Gunn, Laura Marsh, Beth Morgan, Ebony Rainford-Brent, Nicky Shaw, Anya Shrubsole, Claire Taylor, Sarah Taylor