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Lewis: I hope Beaumont causes England World Cup selection headache

England women’s head coach Jon Lewis is hoping Tammy Beaumont will give him a “headache” when it comes selection for the T20 World Cup as she returns to the team to face New Zealand.

Beaumont makes her return to the England T20 squad for the tour of New Zealand, which begins in the early hours of Tuesday morning, after more than two years since earning the last of her 99 IT20 caps.

The 33-year-old, who has been included in both squads for the five IT20s and the three-match ODI series, last played for her country in the shortest format in January 2022.

The T20 World Cup takes place in Bangladesh from September – live on Sky Sports Cricket.

“I think she’s earned the right to come back into the squad. Whether she’s back in the best 11 remains to be seen. I hope she comes back and causes some real selection problems,” said Lewis.

“We’ve got a really good T20 team that been very successful, beating Indian before Christmas and Australia in the summer. We are moving in the right direction and we are starting to really understand what our best 11 is.

“What I hope is Tammy comes in and causes some selection headaches. She’s played fantastically well in domestic cricket over the past 12 months and it will be fascinating to see how she goes putting the shirt back on for England.”

Tammy Beaumont, England, ODI cricket (Getty Images)
Image: Tammy Beaumont will be back in T20 action for the first time in two years

Captain Heather Knight added: “The door’s not shut to anyone. There is that opportunity for players coming in and it will be really interesting to see how they do.

“Tammy’s not been around the T20 stuff for a long time, she’s gone away and worked on her game a lot and done things a little bit differently. She massively deserves that opportunity to come back in and open the batting in T20 cricket.

“Everyone knows Tammy is a gritty cricketer, a bit of a fighter and loves a challenge so I’m super excited how she does with this opportunity she’s got.”

Opportunities for young other to step up

Sophie Ecclestone, the No 1-ranked bowler in the world in both formats, will join the squad only for the fourth and fifth IT20s, and the ODI leg of the tour, following the conclusion of the Women’s Premier League in India.

Alice Capsey, Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danielle Wyatt will do the same as they too take part in the WPL before linking up with their team-mates in New Zealand. Hollie Armitage and Linsey Smith have been added to the squad as cover for the first three IT20s.

“Linsey’s got a tough job in trying to displace Sophie Ecclestone as the No 1 off-spin bowler. I really like a balanced spin attack, I think it causes the opposition problems,” said Lewis.

“I know of Linsey’s quality. I’ve seen her play domestically a lot and in the Big Bash, doing a really good job over there. Since I’ve been here in the last week, she’s been really impressive in terms of her control.

“She actually doesn’t get a lot of bounce, which is something that we’re looking at in terms of what can be successful in Bangladesh and she undercuts cuts the ball and gets the ball to go pretty low, so she she’s very accurate.

Linsey Smith is in line to make her first international appearance since 2019.
Image: Linsey Smith is in line to make her first international appearance since 2019

“If she can do that at international level and be as as controlled as she is in the domestic level, you never know, she could force away into a slightly different shaped squad in Bangladesh.

“Holly looks like a pretty dynamic cricketer and a really good person. Both of them have fitted into the squad incredibly seamlessly, which is a testament I think to the players that are already in the squad and also the environment.

“Holly looks like she could be a really good player for us in the future. We have a lot of batters that are 32+ and we don’t quite know how long those players will go on for, so it’s always wise to try and look at the depth that we have behind that to make sure that when we lose some of our senior players in two, three, four or five years time, who knows, that we have got players behind that are able to fit seamlessly into our best 11.”

Knight: I still have a lot to offer

Heather Knight will captain England in their first tour of India since 2019
Image: Heather Knight insists she still gets a kick
out of leading England and has much more to give

As for Knight, the captain believes she still has a “lot to offer” after nearly eight years in the post.

Knight succeeded Charlotte Edwards, who had a decade-long stint in the position, in June 2016 and her tenure has coincided with some ground-breaking moments for women’s cricket, both domestically and worldwide.

Lewis recently praised Knight’s longevity and commitment as “second to none” after she withdrew from the WPL to play a full part in the tour of New Zealand.

While great rival Meg Lanning stepped down as Australia captain and retired from international cricket late last year, Knight insisted she still gets a kick out of leading England and has much more to give.

“It’s a lot of fun and I’m still enjoying doing it. As long as I’m moving things and myself forward and still enjoying it, it’s
something I want to continue to do,” she said.

“When I think it’s eight years, it seems like a hell of a long time but it’s gone very fast, that’s for sure, and I still feel like I’ve got a lot to offer the team to keep moving things forward.

“I enjoy that responsibility of trying to change. I’ve had to adapt my leadership as the years have gone and I quite enjoy doing that.

“There’s always a big tournament around the corner these days, there’s one every year so there’s always something to work towards and try and have a chance of being successful in.”

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