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England women’s cricket: Younger players making us a ‘real force’, says head coach Jon Lewis

England start a five-match T20 series against New Zealand in Southampton on Saturday.

Those matches are across a 12-day period – with the final game at Lord’s on 17 July live on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer – as they look to ramp up their preparation for the T20 World Cup in October.

England last won the tournament in 2009 and have been knocked out in the semi-finals in the past two editions.

Both the 20-over and 50-over world titles are held by Australia, as are the Women’s Ashes and Commonwealth Games.

All-rounder Freya Kemp, 19, is also part of the T20 squad and England are hoping she can bowl in the series after recovering from a back stress fracture.

“We have a lot of really fine players and we are going to need them as the schedule is really busy and we have to manage the players through that, make sure they are not overplaying or underplaying,” said Lewis.

“We have to select a World Cup squad so to do that we need to decide the best 15 for the conditions we are going to play in.

“For Bangladesh in particular the team that plays the conditions the best will probably come out on top in the competition so we have to be really smart about the 15 we take, especially the four bench players.

“We need to think about getting a rhythm of playing, keeping winning, which is important – but can we do that while testing a few players at the same time?”

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