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Former Berkshire seamer Lauren Bell has been named in the 13 strong England squad for next week's test match against South Africa at Taunton.

The news comes days after Katherine Brunt, England's third leading wicket-taker in women's tests, announced her retirement – Bell's teammate at Southern Vipers, Anya Shrubsole, retired from internationals in April.

Bell said: "I'm so excited, I can't wait.

"I've had a couple of weeks training with the girls, doing some red-ball stuff, and I absolutely love it.

"At the moment I'm just excited, but I think the nerves will kick in soon."

Lauren Bell with last year's Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy
Lauren Bell with last year's Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy

Bell was part of the squad for England's Ashes test in January and was travelling reserve with England's ODI World Cup squad in March and April.

She is confident that those experiences will stand her in good stead ahead of next week – and a potential international debut.

"I think the fact I've been away with the girls, I know how it works, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable going into it," Bell said.

"I'm going to train really hard this week. It would be amazing to make the team and make my debut.

"I'll be doing all I can to make an impression."

Bell's selection comes off the back of domestic success with the Southern Vipers in the Charlotte Edwards Cup. Bell took five wickets as the Vipers went unbeaten.

The former St Bart's student admitted it was a somewhat "up-and-down journey" for her – but it did include career best figures of 3-12 against Lightning in May.

She said: "I was really happy with that performance. I showed that I can help lead the team to a win.

"All I want to do, every time I put on a Vipers shirt, is win."

Bell's attention now turns to England, but there's no doubt her aims will remain the same – to wear the shirt with pride, and to win.



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