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England announce two teams for New Zealand T20Is amid schedule clash with WPL 2024

"We explored every option available to us to make sure all our players were available during the New Zealand series, but that didn't quite work out as we would have liked. We talk to everyone as individuals and work out what we think is the best plan for them," England's head coach Jon Lewis said.

Written By: Sumeet Kavthale @sumeetkavthale New Delhi Updated on: February 02, 2024 22:20 IST
Heather Knight and Lauren Bell
Image Source : GETTY Heather Knight and Lauren Bell during WBBL 2023

Amid a schedule clash with WPL 2024, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced their squads for the New Zealand tour on Friday, February 2. Captain Heather Knight is part of both ODIs and T20Is while the majority of the WPL-bound players will feature in only fourth and fifth T20Is.

The second edition of the Women's Premier League gets underway on February 23 and the final will be played on March 17. England's eight-match while-ball tour to New Zealand is scheduled from March 19 which caused the team captain Heather Knight and star pacer Lauren Bell to leave their respective WPL franchises last week.

However, England Director of England Women’s Cricket, Jonathan Finch, cooled down any schedule rift talks after announcing the teams for the New Zealand series. He revealed that the WPL regulations don't allow player replacement in mid-tournament so Bell and Knight withdrew to be fully available for the New Zealand tour.

“The short window of just one or two days between the end of the WPL and the first IT20 in New Zealand has meant we have needed to balance the challenges of long-term workload management for players, allowing participation in the WPL and ensuring we give clarity to the group of players preparing for the first three IT20s," Finch said. “As a result, we have named two IT20 squads with the WPL players being available for the fourth and fifth matches of the series. All players participating in the WPL were given our backing to remain in India for the duration of the tournament.

"Lauren Bell and Heather Knight have withdrawn from the WPL to ensure they can be available for all IT20 games in New Zealand. They withdrew once they learnt that the WPL regulations don't allow for replacements mid-tournament, not wanting their respective WPL teams to be disadvantaged by their early departure.“

England T20I squad vs New Zealand: Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones (wk), (Hollie Armitage, Linsey Smith - for first three matches) (Danni Wyatt, Sophie Ecclestone, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Alice Capsey - for fourth and fifth match)

England ODI squad vs New Zealand:  Heather Knight (c), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danni Wyatt

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