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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 12:59 GMT
Davies wins women's Ashes call-up
Charlotte Edwards and the Duke of Edinburgh
Captain Charlotte Edwards had a royal appointment earlier this week
Welsh all-rounder Stephanie Davies has been named in the England squad to defend the women's Ashes in Australia.

It is the 20-year-old's first senior call-up and coach Mark Dobson said she would be a "great asset" to the squad.

Rosalie Birch has been recalled, but injured Katherine Brunt and Lynsey Askew miss next February's series.

England will play a Twenty20 game, five one-dayers and a Test in Australia before heading to New Zealand for the second leg of their trip.

"This squad is a great blend of youth and experience, with nine from the victorious 2005 Ashes team travelling to Australia," said captain Charlotte Edwards.

"This demonstrates continuity in selection, which is excellent preparation as we look ahead to the World Cup in 2009.

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"It's going to be a tough tour this winter, but we definitely have the talent to challenge both Australia and New Zealand."

England won the women's Ashes for the first time in 42 years when they beat Australia 1-0 in a two-Test series in 2005.

And they only need to avoid defeat in the one-off Test at Bowral from 15-18 February to retain them.

In the absence of seam bowlers Brunt (back) and Askew (finger), coach Mark Dobson believes newcomer Davies, who plays county cricket for Somerset, can take some of the pressure off vice-captain Nicki Shaw, Laura Marsh, Isa Guha and Beth Morgan.

Stephanie Davies (Pic courtesy of Don Miles)
Davies batting in the domestic Super 4s event (Pic: Don Miles)

It will not be her first trip to Australia as she toured there as a 15-year-old with the England under-19 side in 2002-03.

"She has been performing consistently in the LV County Championships and Super 4s for the past few seasons as well as for the England Development side.

"She offers us additional depth in our batting and bowling departments and it'll be a great opportunity for her to show what she can do at the next level," he said.

Birch, meanwhile, will provide spin bowling back-up to Sussex team-mate Holly Colvin, who is only available for the Australia leg of the tour because of academic commitments.

Colvin will be replaced by another Sussex player, Charlotte Russell, for the tour to New Zealand, where England will play five limited overs internationals.


Squad: C Edwards (capt), C Atkins, R Birch, H Colvin*, S Davies, L Greenway, I Guha, J Gunn, L Marsh, B Morgan, C Russell*, N Shaw, J Smit, C Taylor, S Taylor. (*Colvin will tour Australia only, Russell will tour New Zealand only)

SEE ALSO
England women in Australia 2008
28 Sep 07 |  Women's cricket
England women in NZ 2008
17 Oct 07 |  Women's cricket
England triumph in Women's Ashes
27 Aug 05 |  Women's cricket


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