Sophie Ecclestone, the uncapped Lancashire left-arm spinner, has been named in England Women's 15-member squad for the three-match T20 series at home against Pakistan. Her Lancashire team-mate, Kate Cross, however, was left out. Kent left-arm seamer Natasha Farrant, who was not picked for World T20 as well as the ODI series against Pakistan, replaced the injured Anya Shrubsole.
Ecclestone and Farrant are the two changes to the squad that swept Pakistan 3-0 in the ODI series. Ecclestone, only 17, is the second left-arm spinner in the squad behind Alexandra Hartley, who made her international debut against Pakistan in the third ODI in Taunton. She is yet to play a T20 international.
"The T20 series brings a new set of challenges and further opportunities for the players, and I'm really pleased to call-up Sophie Ecclestone for the first time, and to welcome Tash Farrant back into the dressing room," Mark Robinson, the head coach, said.
"Sophie brings youth, vitality and another left-arm spin option alongside Alex Hartley into the squad. We have two world-class offspinners in Danielle Hazell and Laura Marsh, but we also need to be aware of the talent that we have underneath, and making sure that we are developing the likes of Alex and Sophie, by having them in the group and giving them international match-day experience."
Robinson said that it was a "real shame" that seamer Beth Langston missed on of selection again, because of injury. "She worked tremendously hard during the winter and had a great tour to Sri Lanka with the England Women's Academy, but unfortunately hasn't been able to get involved so far this summer because of her ankle," he said.
Robinson also said that Cross was still in the side's plans, despite being overlooked for the Pakistan T20 series. "Kate Cross has been left out of this squad to face Pakistan, but we do see her as a Twenty20 bowler moving forwards," he said. "There is no reason why she can't be an outstanding bowler across all formats of the game, and we feel that there's a window now where we can do some focused technical work with her away from match situations to help get her ready to perform at her best in the Kia Super League next month."
The T20 series begins with the first match at the Brightside Ground in Bristol on Sunday.