SOUTHERN Vipers starts Mary Taylor, Ava Lee, and Abi Norgrove have been named in England Women’s under-19s squad to tour Sri Lanka.

The tri-series, which also features Australia, will consist of both T20 and 50-over matches and will be played from late March to early April, with dates to be confirmed in due course.

The three Vipers are all products of the Academy, with Taylor being awarded her first professional contact at the end of the 2023 season, whilst Lee and Norgrove, both 18, were handed winter training contracts to allow the duo to train in a professional environment with the senior squad at Utilita Bowl.

Adam Carty, regional director of women’s cricket, said: “We as an organisation are thrilled to learn of Abi, Ava & Mary’s England U19 inclusion on the tour of Sri Lanka this spring.

“When we first welcomed them on to the Academy program at the Vipers, if we’d told them that they’d be flying off the Sri Lanka as part of an England U19 touring squad within two years, they would have looked at us in complete disbelief.

“We are very excited at the opportunities our young starlets are being presented with, as part of the national curriculum for ‘high potential’ players. Long may it continue and grow.

“These three girls are super talented and, we hope, will be the backbone of future Viper team successes.

“Having seen them perform with distinction, in high-pressure conditions within elite domestic senior competitions, I am sure they’ll take to representing their country with real aplomb. We wish them a great life and cultural experience, complemented by success on the field of play.”

Daily Echo: Ava Lee bowls against ThunderAva Lee bowls against Thunder (Image: Dave Vokes)All three played a hand in securing a third Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the Vipers, with Taylor picking up 14 wickets in the competition, whilst Norgrove scored 83 runs with a best of 48, and Lee claimed 10 wickets with a best of 2-33.

Norgrove and Lee, who are both currently enrolled in the Southern Vipers Academy, made their senior debuts against Sunrisers in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy last summer, whilst Taylor debuted against South East Stars in the eliminator of the 2022 RHFT, where she took two wickets.

England Women under-19s head coach, Chris Guest, said: “We are all looking forward to our forthcoming series in Sri Lanka.

“We have selected a good mix of those who have represented this age group before and those who are new. It’s a really exciting squad who are relishing the chance to compete against quality opposition. To have the opportunity to play T20 and 50-over cricket is really important.

“It’s a chance for the players to be exposed to and experience different conditions and will present excellent learning opportunities.

“These will help support the development of the players within their regions and hopefully one day to play for the senior team.”