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Heather Knight taken aback by Emily Arlott rise

Heather Knight taken aback by Emily Arlott rise
© Reuters
The 23-year-old was one of 41 female cricketers awarded a full-time domestic contract late last year by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Heather Knight admitted even she had been taken aback by Emily Arlott's progress this year as the young seamer received her maiden England call-up ahead of the one-off women's Test against India next week.

Arlott's selection in a 17-strong squad comes days after figures of five for 29, including four wickets in an over and three in three balls, as Central Sparks beat defending Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy champions Southern Vipers.

The 23-year-old was one of 41 female cricketers awarded a full-time domestic contract late last year by the England and Wales Cricket Board, and the strides she has taken have convinced Knight that a number of others who benefited from those deals will soon be putting themselves in the shop window for international recognition.

"She's come out of nowhere, really, which is great," said the England captain. "I don't know a huge amount about her apart from the last month or so when I've been watching her a little bit more closely.

"These girls having the opportunity to train professionally throughout the year, which I think is the biggest difference – they can work at all aspects of their game and be more ready if they do get that England call-up.

"I think there will be more players coming out of the woodwork. Emily is one of the first to do that, but I think there will be many more to come and that's what we need.

"What we really want (is) to have that competition and players below pushing the players who are in the team and pushing us to go to new heights as individuals and as a team.

"Hopefully, it's going to be a great thing for England and hopefully Emily tears things up."

Heather Knight is set for her eighth Test appearance next week (Nick Potts/PA)
Heather Knight is set for her eighth Test appearance next week (Nick Potts/PA)

Fellow seamers Tash Farrant and Freya Davies, all-rounder Sophia Dunkley and spinners Sarah Glenn and Mady Villiers have represented England in one or both of the shorter formats but are uncapped at Test level.

The four-day match against India, which starts on June 16 in Bristol, will be just the ninth Test in the last decade in women's cricket and will count towards a multi-format points system identical to that used in the Ashes.

Three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s against India follow the Test, where a Kookaburra ball will be used instead of a Dukes in preparation for England's winter trip when they attempt to regain the urn in Australia.

"It's no secret that this Test match is a huge part of our preparation going into that Ashes series and Test match away from home," said Knight, whose deputy in all three formats going forward will be all-rounder Nat Sciver.

"It's worth looking at using the Dukes ball in women's cricket and women's Test cricket around the world. I think it's definitely worth looking into.

"But obviously we want to use a Kookaburra this summer because it's the best preparation we can have leading into that Ashes Test match."

Knight is set to make her eighth Test appearance next Wednesday against India, whose last foray in the format was in 2014, and the 30-year-old admitted there will be trial and error from both sides.

"I think sometimes it's tricky when you play Test cricket so rarely to know exactly what to do in certain situations because you haven't been put in them very regularly," added Knight.

"We don't play any multi-innings cricket domestically so we're finding our feet a little bit as we go. There's the added nerves and expectation.

"I'm sure the Indians will have a few nerves as well, having not played a Test match in about seven years. It's the same for both teams."

England squad to face India at Bristol from June 16-19: Heather Knight (captain), Nat Sciver (vice-captain), Emily Arlott, Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Anya Shrubsole, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States25292276
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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