It is only five days until New Road stages the second Royal London One-Day International between England Women and Pakistan Women on Wednesday, June 22.
The ECB today announced a 15-strong England women’s squad for the opening two games of the series – at Leicestershire's Fischer County Ground on Monday and New Road two days later.
It is another feather in the cap for Worcestershire after holding one of last summer's Ashes ODIs between England Women and Australia Women – a game which was forced into a second day because of rain.
The beginning of a new era for England sees Heather Knight become the 21st captain of the England women’s team.
Knight will be able to call on a world-class bowling attack, led by newly appointed vice-captain, Anya Shrubsole, and Yorkshire’s Katherine Brunt, who will be striving for an early breakthrough in Leicester to record her 100th ODI wicket.
Brunt worked in a coaching role with the Worcestershire Cricket Board for a spell two years ago.
Middlesex left-arm spinner Alex Hartley will be a fresh face in the England dressing room this summer, having been called-up from the England Women’s Academy (EWA) for the first time.
The 22-year-old has impressed coaches with her early season form with the ball, alongside a series of eye-catching performances with the EWA in Sri Lanka at the start of the year, driving herself into contention for an international debut against Pakistan.
In the absence of Sarah Taylor, Warwickshire and Loughborough Lightning wicket-keeper batsman Amy Jones will be looking to seize her opportunity behind the stumps during this Royal London ODI series, with top-order batsman Lauren Winfield, also offering a second keeping option.
Fran Wilson will present another batting option for Knight and England Women’s Head Coach, Mark Robinson, having been recalled to the England squad following a number of strong performances for Middlesex and as captain of the EWA.
Wilson last played ODI cricket six years ago, when she made her debut during England women’s tour to Sri Lanka in 2010.
Right-arm seam bowler, Beth Langston, has been ruled-out of selection for the three-match Royal London ODI series due to an ankle injury.
Robinson, said: “Monday is going to be a very proud day for our new captain and vice-captain, Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole.
"Under their leadership we will start a new chapter for the England women’s team, beginning with the three-match Royal London ODI series against a Pakistan side that cannot be underestimated.
"Pakistan showed everyone during the ICC World Twenty20 how dangerous they can be, when they beat the hosts India on their own patch.
"They represent a fresh challenge that as a squad we can’t wait to get out there and tackle.
“Congratulations to Alex Hartley on earning her first call-up to an England squad. Alex has worked incredibly hard at her game over the last 12-18 months, and I have been very impressed with her skill as a left-arm spinner in the time that I have been working with her.”
England women’s squad for the third Royal London ODI against Pakistan in Taunton on Monday 27th June, will be named following the second match at New Road.