England v Sri Lanka: Mahika Gaur and Bess Heath uncapped in hosts’ squad for white ball series

  • By Callum Matthews
  • bbc sport

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‘A great wicket’ – Gaur removes Rodrigues

Event: Six across England Date: August 31-September 14

Coverage: Ball-by-ball commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and BBC Sounds. Live text commentary with in-game video clips and commentary on the BBC Sport website and app. Third T20 on September 6 live on BBC Two and iPlayer.

Uncapped left-arm closer Mahika Gaur and wicketkeeper Bess Heath have been named in England’s squad for their white-ball series against Sri Lanka.

Gaur, 17, and Heath, 21, played for England A against Australia earlier in the summer and have had good seasons.

Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danni Wyatt will miss part or all of the series.

There are three T20s starting on August 31, followed by three one-day internationals starting on September 9.

The third T20 on September 6 at Derby is live on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

England Squads for Sri Lanka

T20: Heather Knight (captain), Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Issy Wong, Danielle Wyatt.

ODI: Heather Knight (captain) Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver-Brunt.

Gaur, who played international cricket for the United Arab Emirates aged 12, made two T20 appearances against Australia A in June and has impressed at domestic cricket with his swing and rebounding.

She took five wickets in the Charlotte Edwards Cup as the Thunder reached the final day, before claiming six victims in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

The 6-foot bowler has also taken two wickets for Manchester Originals in The Hundred and has the second-best economic fee for a female bowler in the women’s competition this year.

Heath, who can play as a specialist batsman in the middle order, played in all seven games for England A this summer, scoring 88 in the red-ball warm-up against the full Australia side and 150 in the six white-ball A games.

The right-hander was part of the Northern Diamonds team that won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in 2022 and currently has the best strike rate of any player to face 30+ balls in the Women’s Hundred this summer at 184.85.

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Dattani hit for six by Heath

Head coach Jon Lewis said: “Mahika is a very exciting talent. Left-arm bowlers over six feet tall are unique in women’s cricket. Mahika has consistently shown this summer that she is a threat on the new ball And we’re excited.” to see how she performs internationally.

“Bess is an action-packed cricketer who impacts games and is a perfect fit for us and the way we want to play. She impressed in the A-team games against Australia and also covers Amy Jones with the gloves.”

Ecclestone, who is the number one ranked bowler in T20 and ODI, and opening batsman Dunkley, who has struggled for form this summer, will miss all six matches as England control the workload.

Sciver-Brunt, who is dealing with a knee injury, will miss the T20 series and Wyatt will miss ODI games.

There’s a withdrawal from the T20 team for the multi-talented Freya Kemp, despite her struggles in The Hundred, and opening batsman Emma Lamb also returns to the ODI fold after being left out of the Ashes team.

Bowler Lauren Filer is in both teams after impressing during the Ashes, while Danielle Gibson may make her ODI debut.

Issy Wong, who sat out the Birmingham Phoenix squad for their game against the Southern Brave on Wednesday to work on his “bowling mechanics”, is on the T20 squad.

Lewis added: “We have named a team with a good mix of youth and experience and we see this as an important series to test the depth of our playing group.

“With a [T20] The World Cup is coming next year [in Bangladesh in September]it is imperative that we develop the team and the players can gain international caps and experience.”

England have never hosted Sri Lanka in a bilateral series before, only playing them for England in an ODI during the 2017 World Cup and in T20 during the 2009 World Cup and 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The six matches cap England’s home summer and follow a dramatic Ashes series draw against Australia.

Jon Lewis’s side trailed 6-0 after the Test and opened T20, but drew 6-6 before Australia retained the Ashes with a second ODI win.

England won the T20 and ODI stages to inflict Australia’s first two-way series defeats in each format since 2017 and 2013 respectively.


31 1st T20, 1st County Center Ground, Hove (18:00 BST)

2 2nd T20, Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford (2:30 p.m. BST)

6 3rd T20, Incora County Ground, Derby (18:00 BST)

9 1st ODI, Seat Unique Riverside, Chester-le-Street (11:00 BST)

12 2nd ODI, Northampton (12:30 p.m. BST)

14 3rd ODI, Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester (12:30 p.m. BST)

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