SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

England v Sri Lanka: Heather Knight challenges hosts to refine skills in T20 and one-day series'

England captain Heather Knight and bowler Kate Cross hug
England inflicted a first bilateral T20 series defeat on Australia since 2017 and a first bilateral ODI series defeat since 2013 in The Ashes

England v Sri Lanka - three-match T20 series

Dates: 31 August-6 September

Coverage: Third match on 6 Sept live on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 17:45 BST. Ball-by-ball commentary on all three games on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and BBC Sounds. The BBC Sport website and app will host the TV and radio coverage alongside live text updates and in-play video clips and analysis of each match.

England captain Heather Knight has challenged her side to use the T20 and one-day series' against Sri Lanka as an opportunity to refine their skillsets.

England won both white-ball series' against Australia in July and will be expected to beat Sri Lanka, who are eighth in the world in the two formats.

"In terms of skill execution we can be a lot better," Knight told BBC Sport.

The three-match T20 series starts in Hove on Thursday, before three one-day internationals from 9 September.

Knight added: "We weren't perfect in the Ashes, which is completely fine - you don't expect perfection.

"But we can continue to shift things forward, particularly in terms of the bowling and the skill execution at the end of the innings when batters are going. We've got a chance to improve that.

"With the bat, T20 has been our strongest format and the length of 50 overs and a few younger players, who haven't played a huge amount of 50-over cricket, makes things harder. But those guys get an opportunity to develop their game and how they find a tempo with that.

"There are certainly skill improvements we can make to keep improving as a side and hopefully we can keep doing that on the pitch and in the work that goes on in the nets as well."

Short presentational grey line
Short presentational grey line

T20 squads

England: Heather Knight (captain), Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Issy Wong, Danni Wyatt.

Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu (captain), Oshadi Ranasinghe (vice captain), Harshitha Samarawickrama, Vishmi Gunaratne, Nilakshi de Silva, Kaveesha Dilhari, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Udeshika Prabodhani, Achini Kulasuriya, Kawya Kavindi, Inoshi Fernando, Hansima Karunaratne, Hasini Perera, Imesha Dulani.

Short presentational grey line
Short presentational grey line

The series starts the build-up to next September's T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. England are scheduled to play 22 T20s between now and then, and head coach Jon Lewis said it was "imperative we develop our squad" when announcing it earlier in August.

That has seen England rest spinner Sophie Ecclestone - who has since dislocated her shoulder - and batter Sophia Dunkley for both series', and all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt and batter Danni Wyatt for the T20 and ODIs respectively.

Left-arm seamer Mahika Gaur and wicketkeeper Bess Heath are included in a senior squad for the first time, while pace bowler Lauren Filer could make her T20 debut.

"We've talked about the Ashes and wanting to keep moving forward as a team - the World Cup is a year away and Australia will go back and other teams will be looking to get better and improve," said Knight.

"By the World Cup next year, we want to be in a place where we're a better side than we are at the moment.

"We haven't specifically spoken about it [expanding the talent pool] but you definitely want to have a pool of players that you can pick from and sometimes injuries happen, so you want the next person that comes in to be ready and have enough experience and skill to match up and be that equal transition when there are injuries."

Opener Tammy Beaumont is again absent from the T20 squad despite becoming the first woman to hit a century in The Hundred and being the second-highest run-scorer in this year's competition.

Knight said Beaumont was "disappointed" to miss out, but her name was "very much" still in contention in T20s.

"You can really see how she's changed her mindset and really let off the shackles and is aggressive from ball one," added Knight. "That is what we asked her to go away and do.

"She's certainly been in conversations around the future and the World Cup is only a year away. If she keeps going how she has been and playing how she is - and if she's in form and we decide to make a change at the top - then she will certainly be in and around conversations."

England have never hosted Sri Lanka in a bilateral series before, only playing them in England in an ODI during the 2017 World Cup and in T20s during the 2009 World Cup and 2022 Commonwealth Games.



31 1st T20, 1st Central County Ground, Hove (18:00 BST)


2 2nd T20, Cloud County Ground, Chelmsford (14:30 BST)

6 3rd T20, Incora County Ground, Derby (18:00 BST)

9 1st ODI, Seat Unique Riverside, Chester-le-Street (11:00 BST)

12 2nd ODI, Northampton (12:30 BST)

14 3rd ODI, Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester (12:30 BST)