Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Lamb in line for England call up?

Lancashire's 18 year old Emma Lamb could be in line for a call up to the England squad for the tour to the West Indies at the beginning of October, which is due to be announced next week.

With one eye firmly on the World Cup in England next June and July, England are playing five ODIs in the Windies and no T20s. With the retirement of Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway, England Head Coach Mark Robinson needs to strengthen the squad's batting line-up and Lamb looks to be best placed to make the step up into the squad, if not into the starting 11.

After returning from a successful tour to Sri Lanka with the England Academy in April, Lamb has not had a stellar season with Lancashire in Division Two of the County Championship, scoring just 187 runs at an average of 37.2. But she had a decent KSL series with the Lancashire Thunder, opening the batting in each of their five games and making scores of 25, 26, 34, 27 and 10 and looking at home at the crease, ahead of more exalted company - Matthews, Dottin and Wyatt.

In addition it seems likely that 17 year old Sophie Ecclestone will also be part of the squad - assuming she can get time off school. The left-arm spinner looked comfortable making her debut for England in the summer against Pakistan, and England need her left-arm variation in their attack.

If these two non-contracted players are included in the squad, then current contracted players will have to make way. It could be that Becky Grundy, Jenny Gunn and Danni Wyatt miss the trip as England look to build towards the World Cup and beyond.

Possible squad - Knight (capt), Shrubsole (vice capt), Beaumont, Brunt, Cross, Ecclestone, Elwiss, Farrant, Hazell, Jones, Lamb, Marsh, Sciver, Wilson, Winfield



  1. Yes, I had the privilege of seeing Lamb bat at Guildford and she was very impressive. Also a good fielder. No issue with her being included, a very promising young player. Now we have Wilson back, and with Beaumont and Winfield cementing their places, the batting alarm bells have quietened a little and one more new batter as back-up will round out the side nicely.

    You didn't mention Beth Langston having a thumb injury, as I heard this was the reason she was missing out. Other players who must surely be strong contenders for a place include Adams, E. Jones and Hartley. Lamb only just ahead of the former 2, if at all. Personally I'd probably go with E.Jones first as she's left handed. It's also close between Grundy, Ecclestone and Hartley for the left-arm spinner spot. Ecclestone is maybe more effective in T20 so perhaps Hartley will get the nod?

    As much as I like Wyatt, I can't see why she would possibly be picked on form as she is completely out of form with bat and ball. It will be interesting to see if Robinson sticks with her, having done so before, but seeing as there are no iT20s planned, even he may not. Gunn is a possibility but again not in top form. Thea Brookes seems to be a similar type of player to Wyatt, and must have a better chance after impressing in the KSL. Not saying she should be in the squad yet though, and probably best in T20 - but the rest of the team picks itself pretty much, after the dominance against Pakistan.

  2. I would take Hartley and Grunners and leave Marsh at home, but then I always prefer left arm spinners as for some reason they always look more aesthetically pleasing to me. Must be something to do with the angles when coming around the wicket

  3. Yes agree Lamb deserves her chance. She was pretty much the only non-international batsman to shine in the SL. Wyatt yes agree she shouldn't be picked - doesn't bowl any more and has 100+ caps without scoring over 41 in any format. Surely she must be massively lucky to have played so much, and now her time as an international has surely passed?

  4. I wouldn’t take much notice of anything that happened against Pakistan this summer. That was a no-win series. Do well and, well, you should have done well; do badly and you get hammered. With short boundaries and facing bowling that was for large periods sub Division 1 quality (with fielding to match) it’s difficult to learn all that much (other than congratulating any batsman that filled their boots). One good series against Pakistan doesn’t mean long standing concerns about the batting are resolved. (PS. absolutely agree that England should be playing the likes of Pakistan to help the likes of Pakistan improve).

    Slightly more relevant, although it was T20 rather than the ODIs that is the West Indies tour, is the KSL. A high quality of player, including about 10 really top notch overseas players provided a more challenging environment in which to operate. There were Academy batsmen that performed well (albeit some had little chance, finding themselves batting at 6,7,8 and even 9, and slogging 30 at the end of T20 doesn’t make one a dead cert for lasting 40 overs or more in an ODI) and credit to any bowler that performed in the bowler’s graveyard that is T20.

    Whilst the CC isn’t a good indicator for world domination it is still a 50 over competition (relevant to West Indies tour) and it still provides a barometer for player comparison (granted, not helped by England players being removed from various matches). Not sure comparing one player’s performance in Div 2 against another player’s performance in Div 1 is very informative though.

    England probably have the most equable (and inexperienced) top 20 or so players they’ve had for a long time. Picking 15 for West Indies won’t be a trivial task especially since (a) the tour is ICC Championship (b) the tour is World Cup preparation and (c) contracts are up in January. Ah yes, contracts – so which way around is this, does the West Indies tour inform contract renewals or does contract renewal inform West Indies tour selection ?

  5. Attention now turns away from the KSL to the 50 over game and the West Indies tour. Maybe MR will consider Georgia Adams 22 from Sussex who scored 173 Championship runs in just 3 games at an average of 57.67 or Carla Rudd, the Berkshire keeper who scored 192 @ 32.
    What does Megan Belt or Charlotte Pape have to do to get on a tour. 30 Championship wickets between them at an economy rate of 2.6 per over.

  6. While I would like to have confidence in CC to develop future England cricketers I still think it is more likely that MR (and his scouts?) should be identifying players with the necessary attributes to succeed at international level.

    Long spells in the ECB Academy have failed to do so and in fact have dulled some of the brightest young stars. Time for a fresh approach to talent.

    1. Agree. See my latest tweet on Eng U19 men and how they are developing talent.
      This piece

  7. "I wouldn’t take much notice of anything that happened against Pakistan this summer...it’s difficult to learn all that much...One good series against Pakistan doesn’t mean long standing concerns about the batting are resolved". Sorry Clanger - this doesn't mean much either. Long standing concerns about batting are never resolved. One can always demand and expect more. The argument that any given team has batting problems is always close at hand and never more than an innings or two away, for anyone.

    Try telling Winfield or Beaumont this summer meant nothing though. In reality it was a game-changer for them, because 2 players who were going nowhere early this year have begun playing with great confidence and now look key for England. They may turn out to have bad Windies tours, but who will be waiting in line to replace them? Any talk about who should replace them in that event is overshadowed by the elephant in the room of when Taylor is coming back.