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Uncapped Emily Arlott included in England Women's 17-strong squad for Sky Live Test against India

Seamer Arlott routed Southern Vipers with a hat-trick in Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy ahead of first international call-up; Natasha Farrant is also included in 17-strong squad to face India; Nat Sciver is confirmed as vice-captain to Heather Knight across all formats

Seamer Emily Arlott in action for Central Sparks in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy (Picture by Laura Malkin)
Image: Seamer Emily Arlott in action for Central Sparks in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy (Picture by Laura Malkin)

Uncapped Emily Arlott has been included in England Women's 17-strong squad for the Test against India, just days after taking a hat-trick for Central Sparks.

Seamer Arlott bagged 5-29 - including four wickets in an over - in front of England head coach Lisa Keightley on Saturday as Sparks dismantled defending champions Southern Vipers in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

The 23-year-old will now be eyeing her England debut at Bristol from June 16 - live on Sky Sports Cricket - as Heather Knight's side play their first Test since the 2019 Women's Ashes and India their first since 2014.

On Arlott, captain Knight said: "We see her as a player with the skills to play red-ball cricket and hopefully she tears things up.

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"She's come out of nowhere, which is great, and what a great story for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

"We have been calling for the domestic competition to be more professional for a while now and now that it is, you are going to get people coming out of the woodwork.

"Emily is one of the first to do that, but I think there will be many more to come and that's what we need.

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"What we really want is to have that competition. Players below pushing the players who are in the team and pushing us to go to new heights as individuals and as a team.

"These girls have the opportunity to train professionally throughout the year, which I think is the biggest difference. They can work at all aspects of their game and be more ready if they do get that England call-up."

Heather Knight, Western Storm (PA Images)
Image: England captain Heather Knight says the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy will help swell England's talent pool

Arlott is joined in the England squad by fellow seam bowler Natasha Farrant, who returned to the international frame on the tour of New Zealand earlier this year having secured one of the 41 full-time regional contracts introduced into the women's game in 2020.

Seamer Anya Shrubsole missed the trip against the White Ferns after picking up a knee injury and so surrendered the vice-captaincy to Nat Sciver, who has now been confirmed as Heather Knight's number two across all forms of international cricket.

The all-rounder stepped in as captain for the injured Knight as England Women clinched a 3-0 T20 series sweep of New Zealand in March having already taken the ODI series 2-1.

Looking forward the to the Test match, which will be played with a Kookaburra ball as England prepare for their Ashes series in Australia this winter, Knight said: "It is massive for us. [A Test match] doesn't happen very often and is a real event when it does.

Heather Knight (PA Images)
Image: Knight is excited ahead of the Test match against India in Bristol from June 16

"I guess there are added nerves and captaining can be tricky as you are so used to playing white-ball cricket but there will be excitement to have fans in and people watching. It feels like a proper start to the home summer.

"We want to put on a show. India are a strong side so hopefully the game will be entertaining to watch.

"It's no secret that this Test match is a huge part of our preparation going into that Ashes series and Test match away from home.

"It's worth looking at using the Dukes ball in women's cricket and women's Test cricket around the world.

"But obviously we want to use a Kookaburra this summer because it's the best preparation we can have leading into that Ashes Test."

The Test squad is likely to be trimmed ahead of the Test match to allow non-selected players to play in the next round of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

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Head coach Keightley added: "We want players to have opportunities out in the middle so we're looking to reduce our numbers slightly ahead of the Test to give the non-selected players that chance.

"I'm really excited by the summer ahead. We've been working really hard across the last 10 weeks, India are a strong side and it's the beginning of a two-year journey for us that takes in two ICC World Cups, an Ashes and the Commonwealth Games."

England Women squad: Heather Knight (captain), Nat Sciver (vice captain), Emily Arlott, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill

Watch the Test between England Women and India Women live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Wednesday, June 16.

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