England keen to make dashing first impression at inaugural U19 Women's T20 World Cup
Ellie Anderson, Hannah Baker, Josie Groves, Liberty Heap, Niamh Holland, Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Emma Marlow, Charis Pavely, Davina Perrin, Lizzie Scott, Grace Scrivens, Sophia Smale, Seren Smale, Alexa Stonehouse, Maddie Ward
Non-travelling reserves: Emily Churms, Charlotte Lambert, Bethan Miles, Jemima Spence, Mary Taylor
15 January v Zimbabwe at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
17 January v Pakistan at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
19 January v Rwanda at Absa Puk Oval, Potchefstroom
Key Player - Sophia Smale
When your list of wickets includes the likes of Alyssa Healy, Tahlia McGrath, Danni Wyatt and Sophie Devine at 17 years of age, there are bound to be eyes on you.
Sophia Smale only turned 18 in December 2022 and has already been earmarked for bigger things. Smale made her domestic debut at the 2021 Vitality Women's County T20 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
She featured in the 2022 edition of the tournament as well and has since gone on to play in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and most recently The Hundred.
Smale was roped in as an injury replacement by the Oval Invincibles for Emma Jones and made a lasting impact. She featured in all seven games of the tournament, including the final which the Invincibles won, and finished as the team’s highest wicket-taker with eight scalps in seven games at an economy rate of just 6.25.
The youngster has also shown her batting credentials – playing for Western Storm in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in September 2022, she notched up her maiden List A fifty against Northern Diamonds
With the experience of already having played on the big stage, the left-arm orthodox spinner will be a key part of the England team at the inaugural ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup.
England have a squad brimming with talent at their disposal and at the same time, with players having experienced the big stage.
Apart from Smale, the squad has Ryana MacDonald-Gay, Hannah Baker and Grace Scrivens, all of whom were a part of The Hundred this year.
Pitted against Pakistan, Rwanda and Zimbabwe in Group C of the ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup, England on paper are not only favourites to go through to the Super 6 stage of the tournament but should dream to go even further.