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Mahika Gaur, Bess Heath earn maiden England call-ups for white-ball series against Sri Lanka

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Mahika Gaur, Bess Heath earn maiden England call-ups for white-ball series against Sri LankaAugust 18, 2023London, Aug 18 (IANS) Uncapped left-arm fast-bowler Mahika Gaur and wicketkeeper-batter Bess Heath have earned maiden call-ups to England’s squads for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka starting later this month.Mahika, born in Reading, United Kingdom, plays cricket in England as a local player. She has represented UAE in this year’s ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup, apart from playing 19 T20Is for the senior side. She was part of her domestic side Thunder’s run to Charlotte Edwards Cup Finals Day and played a key role in their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy matches earlier this year.Mahika also made her debut in the 2023 edition of The Hundred for Manchester Originals, apart from playing for England A against Australia A in the recent time.On the other hand, Bess was part of Northern Diamonds’ Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy-winning side of 2022 and has been in England A set-up for the last 14 months. She has featured in all of Northern Superchargers’ 2023 Hundred matches to date.“Mahika (Gaur) is a very exciting talent. Left-arm swing bowlers over six-foot tall are unique in women’s cricket. Mahika has shown consistently this summer that she is a threat with the new ball, and we are excited to see how she performs at the international level.”“Bess (Heath) is an all-action cricketer who impacts games and is a great fit for us and how we want to play. She impressed in the A team games against Australia earlier in the summer and she also provides cover for Amy Jones with the gloves,” said head coach Jon Lewis in a statement.All-rounder Freya Kemp returns to the 20-over format squad after recovering from a stress fracture in her back while seamer Lauren Filer receives her first T20I call-up after debuting for England in the Test match at this summer’s Ashes.But there was no T20I call-up for opener Tammy Beaumont, despite hitting 118 from 61 balls for Welsh Fire against Trent Rockets, the first century in the Women’s Hundred competition, though she’s named in the ODI squad.Top-ranked ODI and T20I bowler, left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone and batter Sophia Dunkley will miss the series while experienced duo Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danielle Wyatt will sit out of T20I and ODI series respectively, in a bid to manage the quartet’s programme over the next 12 months.“We have named a squad with a good blend of youth and experience and see this as an important series to test the depth of playing pool. We have some exciting, new young players coming in who we are looking forward to working with.”“With a World Cup coming up next year it’s imperative we develop the squad and players can gain international caps and experience. The chance to play at venues around the country is exciting.”“It’s great the opening fixture against Sri Lanka at Hove is now sold out. After an incredible Ashes summer, we want to maintain momentum on and off the field and look forward to getting started,” concluded Lewis.The series between England and Sri Lanka begins with three T20Is from August 31 to September 6 at The Hove, Chelmsford and Derby. It will be followed by three ODIs on September 9, 12, and 14 on Chester-Le-Street, Northampton and Leicester.England T20I squad: 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 and Danni WyattEngland ODI squad: 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, and Nat Sciver-Brunt–IANSnr/bskhttps://ians.in/detail/mahika-gaur-bess-heath-earn-maiden-england-call-ups-for-white-ball-series-against-sri-lanka–20230818164303/

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