Women's cricket August 4, 2014

Knight appointed England vice-captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

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'We won't underestimate India' - Edwards

Heather Knight has been named as England Women vice-captain ahead of their international summer against India and South Africa.

Knight has become a feature at the top of the order for England, topping the averages at the recent Women's World T20 where England reached the final, and has now been given the vice-captaincy as England enter a new professional era.

The first set of central contracts was awarded to England's women in May and the first standalone commercial deal for the England Women's team was signed last month.

England's first fixtures as a professional outfit are against India, in a one-off Test and three-match ODI series - part of a new ICC Women's Championship. Three T20s follow against South Africa in September.

Katherine Brunt, the experienced seamer, is included in the one-day squads having recovered from the injury she suffered at the end of the Ashes tour in January. Natasha Farrant, the Kent left-arm seamer, also returns. Both players missed the Women's World T20 in March.

The Test squad includes Sonia Odedra, from Nottinghamshire, who could be in line for an international debut. But Georgia Elwiss, the Sussex right-arm seamer, has been ruled out of action for the rest of the summer with a broken hand.

"The three squads for the series against India and South Africa have been selected from a position of real strength," the ECB head of women's cricket, Clare Connor, said. "I am delighted that both Katherine Brunt and Natasha Farrant will return to international action this summer.

"Appointed to the role of vice-captain, Heather Knight now has the opportunity to learn from the most experienced international captain in the world as she works alongside Charlotte Edwards to help lead the England women's team at the start of a new professional era for the women's game."