<
>

Sarah Taylor withdraws from England's T20 Ashes squad

Sarah Taylor leans into a drive Getty Images

Sarah Taylor has decided to withdraw from the T20 leg of England Women's Ashes campaign, as part of the ongoing management of her longstanding anxiety issues.

With the series already out of England's reach following their 3-0 defeat in the ODI series and last week's drawn Test in Taunton, it has been decided that Taylor would benefit from the break, with Fran Wilson coming into the squad to replace her.

Taylor and the ECB staff have been working together over the last three years to manage her mental health, ever since she took an extended break from the game in 2016, before returning to play a key part in England's World Cup victory the following year.

She also missed the last World T20 in the Caribbean in November, where England were beaten by Australia in the final.

"I first took a break from the game in 2016 but I don't want people to feel this is exactly the same," Taylor said. "I've made progress in that time and there are plenty of challenges I've met on the way and hurdles I've overcome.

"That said, mental health is not something you 'beat'. It's a continual management process and at the moment I don't feel in a good enough place to compete in international sport."

The T20 leg of the Ashes begins in Chelmsford this evening, where England's aim is the same as it was on their last Ashes tour of Australia - to tie the points series at 8-8, even though Australia retain the title as holders.

"I wish the girls all the best across the IT20 series. 8-8 is a very different score from 8-2 and I know they're all working incredibly hard to win these last three matches and draw the series."