Sarah Taylor back in England squad for Women’s World Cup

Wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor was included in the England squad announced on Monday for the Women's World Cup after taking nearly a year out of the game due to a stress-related illness.

Sarah Taylor joined the squad for a training camp in the United Arab Emirates last month for the first time since taking an indefinite career break in May last year.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor was included in the England squad announced on Monday for the Women's World Cup after taking nearly a year out of the game due to a stress-related illness.

Taylor, 28, widely regarded as one of the best keepers in the women's game and, on her day, a dynamic batsman, stepped away from cricket after revealing she was struggling with anxiety issues.

But she returned last month and has been included, together with captain Heather Knight, in a 15-strong squad provided they both complete their “return to full fitness”.

Top-order batsman Knight suffered a stress fracture in her foot earlier this month but she hopes to be fit in time to lead host England in its World Cup opener against India in Derby on June 24.

Taylor joined the squad for a training camp in the United Arab Emirates last month for the first time since taking an indefinite career break in May last year.

Explaining her condition in an interview with the BBC in June 2016, Taylor said: “For the past four years, I have been suffering from anxiety. My health is my first priority, and it was starting to affect my performance in cricket.”

Taylor added: “It happened mainly when I was waiting to bat - the nerves and expectation of scoring runs would hit me. It would be nerves, plus something else — and now I know it is genuine panic.”

However, she also stressed that she wanted to resume her England career.

“I would like to say I am 99 percent sure I will play again. I absolutely want to play cricket, put an England shirt on, train with the girls. I miss them terribly.”

A veteran of over 100 ODIs, Taylor will add big match experience to a squad that saw both long-serving skipper Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway retire from England duty in 2016.

The trio were all members of the last England squad to win the World Cup, in Australia in 2009, as were Katherine Brunt, Laura Marsh, Anya Shrubsole and Jenny Gunn, all of whom are set to be involved in this year's edition as well.

England has won the World Cup three times, triumphing at the inaugural edition in 1973 and again winning the title on home soil in 1993.

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