Lauren Down returns to NZ team for England tour - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Lauren Down returns to NZ team for England tour

 Down last played for NZ in 2023

Down last played for NZ in 2023 © Getty

Lauren Down has returned to the New Zealand women's team after having taken a break from cricket to become a first-time mother. Down, who last played in the T20 World Cup in February 2023, has been included in the one-day squad for New Zealand's upcoming tour of England. Mikaela Greig has been included in the squad for both the ODI and T20I games while pacer Molly Penfold, who did well against England A earlier this year, also features in both formats.

Meanwhile, fast bowler Rosemary Mair has been ruled out of the series due to a back issue that had forced her exclusion from the ODI series against England in April. Hayley Jensen was also not considered for selection as she is undergoing rehabilitation for a calf injury. Lea Tahuhu, who will be in New Zealand for the birth of her second child, will join the squad for the T20I series.

New Zealand squad: Sophie Devine (c), Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Lauren Down (ODIs), Izzy Gaze (wk), Maddy Green, Mikaela Greig, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Leigh Kasperek (T20Is), Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu (T20Is).

"We're really pleased to have Lauren back in the WHITE FERNS," said head coach Ben Sawyer. "She's been working hard over the past four months to get herself into a position where she feels confident to play, and this tour feels like the right time to bring her back into the fold. Every series is an opportunity to test what our best playing XI looks like, and with T20 and One Day World Cups looming it will be good to see where Lauren and Mikaela could fit in.

"The players have spent the past six weeks training incredibly hard and we've been ticking all the boxes that we can, to get ready. When we faced England at home we didn't get the results we were after but we did see gutsy performances from a range of players, which was really promising. Anytime you play a world-class team like England in their own backyard it's going to be a challenge. But with the work that's been put in, we've got ourselves into the best position possible to succeed," added Sawyer.

The series gets underway in late June with the ODI leg. The three 50-over matches will be played on June 26, June 30 and July 3 in Durham, Worcester and Bristol respectively. This will be followed by five T20Is - July 6 (Southampton), July 9 (Hove), July 11 (Canterbury), July 13 (The Oval) and July 17 (Lord's).

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