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Emily Arlott shocked at England call-up for India Test

The 23-year-old Central Sparks seamer helped her side thrash defending champions Southern Vipers in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.

Emily Arlott admitted she was "probably as shocked as anyone" about being drafted into the England squad for the first time ahead of next week's one-off women's Test against India at Bristol.

Uncapped Arlott was included in a 17-strong group, which is expected to be whittled down so non-selected players can go back to competing in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, where the 23-year-old seamer excelled last weekend.

She finished with figures of five for 29, including four wickets in an over and three in three balls, to help Central Sparks thrash defending champions Southern Vipers by 120 runs on Saturday.

Within a few months of being among those handed a full-time domestic contract, Arlott has been catapulted into the England set-up for what will be just the ninth women's Test in the space of the last decade, starting on June 16.

She said: "I'm probably as shocked as anyone that I got the call, I didn't even think my name was in contention to be considered. To get the call rounded off that weekend, really.

"I think it's probably the best thing that could have happened. If it had been something that I expected, I think something like Saturday might not have happened, where I was trying to force something.

"Whereas I've spent the whole of this year just doing everything with a purpose but relaxing with it as well and I've found that the performances have come with being able to enjoy the moment rather than thinking too far ahead.

"I think it will do me really well long-term not knowing much about it just because I found out on Sunday and I've got to Loughborough on the Tuesday. It just means I can get going straight away and get to know the girls."

Arlott, who has taken eight wickets in three Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy matches at an average of just 15.12, believes her inclusion in the England squad is categorical proof that the domestic deals are having an impact.

She said: "Hopefully if my selection demonstrates anything, it's that everyone in the regions now has a chance. I may be one of the first to come through the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy but I hope I'm not the last by any means.

"I hope that people keep putting in performances – it shows that the system really works, and that's a credit to the ECB and the regions for creating such an environment that this is a possibility.

"I think two years ago, I don't think I'd have got to where I have done without it, really."

The youngster believes she may be a distant relative of beloved former Test Match Special commentator John Arlott, a celebrated cricket journalist from Basingstoke who died in 1991, aged 77.

She added: "It's never actually been confirmed but I am pretty sure – considering a lot of my family are from Hampshire – that there is a connection. We've just never actually looked into it.

"I don't know whether it maybe swayed us more towards cricket, but my brother and I definitely played a lot of cricket when we were younger.

"We've actually got a couple of books, I think he released a book so we've got those at home. We're quite well aware of him and we're pretty sure that there is some connection there."

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England captain Joe Root celebrates with the Wisden Trophy on July 28, 2020
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United StatesUnited States73515
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia45312
Great BritainGreat Britain3418
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

· After an impressive opening day, Great Britain play their final group game against a Fiji side level with them at the top of the pool, but also yet to hit their brilliant best (1.30am)

· After disappointment for friend and housemate Jade Jones, Bianca Walkden will go for gold in the women's +67kg category (2am-2.30pm)
· Mahama Cho is another medal contender for Team GB in the men's +80kg class (2am-2.30pm)

· Team GB's Duncan Scott has the chance to claim his first individual Olympic medal in the men's 200m freestyle final. Teammate Tom Dean is also involved. (2.43am)
· Kathleen Dawson is the Team GB representative in the women's 100m backstroke final (2.51am)

· Eden Cheng and Lois Toulson will look to emulate Tom Daley and Matty Lee's success in the women's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

· Three-time Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin is part of a Team GB team going for gold in the dressage team Grand Prix final (9.30am)

· Superstar Simone Biles leads the United States side in the women's team final (11.45am-2.10pm)

· Team GB's women's team play their final group game, taking on Canada with qualification for the knockout rounds already secured (12pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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