Pakistan’s star batter Javeria Khan has been named to lead a multi-nation Women’s Global Development Squad that will play six Twenty20 matches on a tour of England, including two each against ECB Super League teams Southern Vipers and Surrey Stars.

The International Cricket Council announced the third WGDS squad today, as part of its continued efforts to provide exposure to players from outside the leading countries and improve the standard of the women’s game. The WGDS tour of England is being organised in association with the ECB. The two previous WGDS programmes were held in Australia (November 2018) and England (July 2018).

Scotland boasts the most number of players with leg-spinner Abtaha Maqsood, medium-pace bowler Hannah Rainey and batter Becky Glen picked in the squad. Bangladesh (fast bowling all-rounder Jahanara Alam and top-order batter Fargana Hoque) and Papua New Guinea (wicketkeeper Brenda Tau and all-rounder Ravini Oa) have two players each in the team while Germany’s left-handed all-rounder Christina Gough, Ireland’s leg-spinner Celeste Raack, Dutch top-order bat Denise van Deventer and USA batter Sugetha Chandhrasekar complete the line-up.

These promising players, who have all turned out for their national teams, will get to play the likes of New Zealand star batter Suzie Bates and West Indies all-rounder Stafanie Taylor of Southern Vipers while Surrey Stars boast a line-up including the South Africa trio of Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk and Lizelle Lee.

Javeria feels the players in her team will learn a lot during their packed schedule and is hoping to pass on her knowledge to them.

Javeria Khan: “I find it a real honour to be selected as the captain of the Women’s Global Development Squad. It has always been my desire to experience such opportunities and I am sure this new and exciting opportunity will pave the way for a lot of learning which will help me further improve my game. I aim to pass on my experience to the members of my squad while at the same time I would look at improving my own game in terms of both the mental side and skillset.

“I am looking forward to enjoying and experiencing companionship with players from different nationalities who are gathering for the event. This program will not only acquaint me with their culture, but also with their approach towards the game. I would also be keen on sharing my knowledge of the game that I have acquired by representing my country around the world at some of the biggest stages of women’s cricket.

ICC Women’s Cricket Manager Holly Colvin says the expanded third edition of the WGDS will provide more opportunities for players to learn and develop on and off the field.

Holly Colvin: “The Women’s Global Development squads play a key role in the spread of the game. They enable high-performing players from outside the top eight teams to develop their skills and bridge the gap with leading players of the generation. The ICC Women’s Championship has enriched the quality of the game for the eight leading teams and it is important that we now bridge the gap between them and the next best teams.

“We have appointed Javeria as captain because we felt it was important that a senior player guide the team and impart the nuances of the game on the field. There is nothing like learning first hand and I am sure the other players will acquire a lot from her.

“There is a huge variety of playing experience, culture and background in this team and I’m looking forward to seeing the team grow over the course of the week, particularly as they have the freedom to express themselves on the pitch.

“It’s really important that the ICC and Members support high performance initiatives to continue to develop talented players. It will provide fantastic preparation for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier due to be held in Scotland in 31 August – 7 September 2019 and I look forward to seeing these players in action at this tournament.”

"It’s a fantastic initiative from the ICC to give players from all around the world the chance to play in England and we look forward to both fixtures"

Charlotte Edwards, former England captain and Director of Women’s Cricket at The Ageas Bowl, says the club is looking forward to host the WGDS squad.

Charlotte Edwards: “The Southern Vipers are delighted to be hosting the WGDS team for the games at Aldershot CC. It will be great preparation for our players as we head into the KSL this year. It’s a fantastic initiative from the ICC to give players from all around the world the chance to play in England and we look forward to both fixtures.

The WGDS squad: Javeria Khan (Pakistan, captain), Jahanara Alam, Fargana Hoque (both Bangladesh), Christina Gough (Germany), Celeste Raack (Ireland), Denise van Deventer (Netherlands), Brenda Tau, Ravini Oa (both PNG), Abtaha Maqsood, Hannah Rainey, Becky Glen (all Scotland), Sugetha Kalyanaraman Chandhrasekar (USA). Coach: Michael Ndiko (Uganda); Mentor coach: Laura Macleod (England).

Fixtures:

Monday, 29 July: WGDS v England Women’s Academy (10h30 and 13h30) - Cranleigh CC, Surrey
Wednesday, 31 July: WGDS v Southern Vipers (10h30), WGDS v Surrey Stars (13h30) - Aldershot CC, Hampshire
Friday, 2 August: WGDS v Surrey Stars (10h30), WGDS v Southern Vipers (13h30) - New Malden, Surrey