Alice Capsey named in England’s Commonwealth Games squad, Tammy Beaumont omitted

Alice Capsey, the rising star of last year’s Women’s Hundred, has been named in her first England squad for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, but there is no place for Tammy Beaumont among the 15 names who will compete in Birmingham at the end of the month.

Capsey, who turns 18 in August, played an integral part in Oval Invincibles’ victory in the inaugural season of the Hundred, finishing as the team’s joint-second-highest run-scorer and their third-highest wicket-taker, with her stand-out moment being an innings of 59 from 41 balls against London Spirit at Lord’s.

She is one of two uncapped teenagers in England’s ranks, alongside the left-arm seamer Freya Kemp, who has been added to Southern Brave’s ranks for this year’s Hundred, having helped secure the Charlotte Edwards Cup with Southern Vipers already this season.

Issy Wong, who claimed three wickets on her ODI debut against South Africa on Friday – only weeks after picking up her first Test cap against the same opponents – has also been included in the squad for a tournament that will take place in her home city of Birmingham between July 29 and August 7. Katherine Brunt, England’s senior pace bowler, who retired from Tests earlier this year, has also been named in the 15.

The same squad will also take on South Africa in the T20I leg of the ongoing multi-format series, starting at Chelmsford on July 21. England currently lead the series by six points to two after two comprehensive wins in the first two ODIs.

However, the squad’s shock omission is that of Beaumont – arguably England’s most dependable batter of the past five years, dating back to her starring role in the 2017 World Cup victory, when she was the team’s top scorer for the tournament with 410 runs at 45.55.

In 2022, however, Beaumont has made just 34 runs in two T20Is (the format for the Commonwealth Games) while her ODI average for the year (28.21 in 14 games) has dipped below 40 for the first time since she broke into the side in 2016.

“We’ve picked what we think is our best T20 squad,” Lisa Keightley, England’s head coach, said. “We’ve got one eye on taking our T20 game forward, but we do believe this squad gives us the best chance of success in the Commonwealth Games – and that’s something to be really excited by.

“T20 cricket and women’s cricket in general is evolving all the time – and in order to put ourselves in a position to win global tournaments we have to move forward with it, be aggressive, be dynamic and part of our selection is about embracing that. Similarly we have selected players who are flexible, adaptable, fit in a number of roles and give us the most options for individual match-ups.

“It’s really exciting that we’ve got so much competition for places. Obviously, it’s hard for those that miss out, it’s never nice to not be selected in a squad, but we’re not accustomed to having to make such difficult decisions and they are part of the game and an indication of how much the game is progressing.

“We now have players across the domestic game putting their hand up for selection, which is testament to the regional game, and we have real strength in depth, and that’s so important.”

Heather Knight, England’s captain, added: “It is such a massive opportunity for us and for the game to compete in the Commonwealth Games, especially on home soil.

“When you’re younger you watch these multi-sport events but, as a cricketer, you don’t imagine you’ll be out there representing Team England. It also gives us a brilliant chance to engage some young people in cricket who maybe haven’t played or watched it before.

“It’s a hugely exciting squad and for us as a group to have a chance to make history and be the first women’s cricketers to medal at the Commonwealth Games is something that can really drive us forward.”

The Commonwealth Games will be hosted at Edgbaston and screened live on the BBC, with England’s first fixture against Sri Lanka on Saturday, July 30.

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