A NUMBER of Southern Vipers players have been selected for England women's white-ball tour of New Zealand which begins in March.

Bowler Linsey Smith has been included in the squad for the first three IT20 matches before Sophie Ecclestone returns from India - where she is taking part in the Women's Premier League.

Vipers Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, and Charlie Dean are also included, while Danni Wyatt will join the squad for the fourth and fifth matches of the series after the WPL's conclusion.

Jon Lewis, who is the head coach of the England women's side, revealed why Smith is the right player to stand in for Ecclestone while she is away.

He said: "Linsey has been performing at a high level for a long period of time and gives us a high-quality left-arm spin option.

"With Sophie Ecclestone unavailable for the first three IT20 matches, Linsey is, in my opinion, the second-best left-arm spinner in the country in the T20 format.

"She has recently been to the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and Super Smash in New Zealand where she has enhanced her skills and played a lot of cricket."

Bell, Bouchier, Dean, and Wyatt have all been included in the ODI squad, which concludes on April 6 in Hamilton.

England will play five IT20s and a three-match ODI series with the tour starting in Dunedin and further fixtures taking place in Nelson, Wellington, and Hamilton.

Georgia Adams, Rhianna Southby, and Freya Kemp have been named in the England Women A squad which will be playing three T20s and three 50-over matches in New Zealand.