England captain Heather Knight returns for forthcoming tour of West Indies

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England captain Heather Knight is back for the forthcoming tour of the West Indies, with key pair Nat Sciver and Katherine Brunt also returning in a show of strength for Jon Lewis’ first series as head coach.

Lewis was unveiled as Lisa Keightley’s successor last week and will lead the women’s team in three ODIs and five T20s in the West Indies next month.

He has been boosted by Knight’s recovery from the hip operation that ruled her out of the Commonwealth Games, The Hundred and England’s home series against India over the summer.

Sciver initially stood in as Knight’s deputy but stepped away to focus on her mental health and well-being after citing “emotional fatigue”. Her wife, fast bowler Brunt, was also rested from the limited-overs games against India.

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But all three are heading to the Caribbean, where England will be hoping to give Lewis a strong start to his tenure.

Lauren Winfield-Hill, who played her last T20 international in February 2020, is recalled to the squad after a prolific summer, including a strong showing in The Hundred where she was second only to Sciver among homegrown batters.

Tammy Beaumont, Kate Cross, Alice Davidson-Richards and Emma Lamb will fly home after three-match ODI leg, while Brunt, Issy Wong and Sarah Glenn join Winfield-Hill as T20 specialists.

Lewis, who was consulted on selection but not involved as part of the panel, said: “I’m really excited to get to the West Indies and start working with this group. Though I wasn’t involved in selection for this trip, we did have some brief discussions in the lead up to selection and I’m pleased for everyone who’s been selected.

“It’s great to have Heather, Nat and Katherine back in the group. The quality and experience they bring can only add huge value both on and off the field. We will manage Katherine back into competitive cricket with an eye on the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February.

“Equally, for Lauren, it’s pleasing to see a player go through a tough period and come back stronger, while demonstrating terrific form at domestic and franchise level. I have been particularly impressed with Lauren’s ability to put the bowlers under pressure and score at an impressive run rate in the power play.”

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