Lauren Down and Mikaela Greig were included in the squad for New Zealand women selected for the upcoming tour to England, on Wednesday.

Down, who has played 41 internationals for New Zealand (28 ODIs and 13 T20Is), returned to the ODI squad after taking a break from cricket while Greig’s selection came following her international debut in March, when she was called up from the New Zealand A squad and then featured in the first T20I against England in Dunedin.

Down last featured for the White Ferns at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February 2023.

The pair was included in a wider 16-strong squad set to play three ODIs and five T20Is at eight venues across England, starting in Durham on June 26.

Pacer Rosemary Mair was ruled out due to back pain while Molly Penfold, who finished as the team’s second-highest wicket-taker behind Hayley Jensen against England A in March, returned as a seam bowling option.

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“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.”

On the preparation for England, Sawyer said he was pleased with the squad’s efforts.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

New Zealand Squad for England Tour

Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Lauren Down, Izzy Gaze, Maddy Green, Mikaela Greig, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Leigh Kasperek, Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu

Match Schedule

Warm up match – Grace Road, Leicester – Friday 21 June – 10.00pm (NZT)

1st ODI – Riverside, Durham – Wednesday 26 June – 12.00am +1 day (NZT)

2nd ODI – New Road, Worcester – Sunday 30 June – 10.00pm (NZT)

3rd ODI – County Ground, Bristol – Wednesday 3 July – 12.00am +1 day (NZT)

1st T20I – The Rose Bowl, Southampton – Saturday 6 July – 1.30am +1 day (NZT)

2nd T20I – The 1st Central County Ground, Hove – Tuesday 9 July – 5.30am +1 day (NZT)

3rd T20I – The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury – Thursday 11 July – 5.30am +1 day (NZT)

4th T20I – The Oval, London – Saturday 13 July – 5.30am +1 day (NZT)

5th T20I – Lord’s, London – Wednesday 17 July – 5.00am +1 day (NZT)