Women's Ashes 2015 the biggest ever - Clare Connor

England lift the Women's Ashes
Every ball of the Women's Ashes will be broadcast live on the BBC

This summer's Ashes series is the biggest the women's game has ever seen, according to former England captain Clare Connor.

England will defend the Ashes against Australia, with every ball broadcast live on BBC radio or online.

"It's the first time two fully professional women's teams have played each other in a full series," she said.

"It's the biggest, most-anticipated, high-profile women's series there's ever been."

England regained the Ashes in 2013 in a multi-format series, in which points are gained for results across a Test match, three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s.

Charlotte Edwards' side then retained the Ashes down under in 2014.

This summer's series begins with three ODIs, the first of which is at Taunton on 21 July.

England have recalled Sussex all-rounder Georgia Elwiss to a 14-player squad, with Warwickshire left-arm spinner Rebecca Grundy the only player not to have previously been involved in an Ashes series.

"The players are really excited about the prospect of playing in this series," said Kent batter Edwards, who has won the Ashes on five occasions.

BBC

"We've got confidence from the two previous series, especially winning in Australia. We'll hopefully start well, but we know it's a tough proposition."

In June, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced a £3m investment in a Women's Super League, which will begin next summer.

That came after Cricket Australia announced the formation of a Women's Big Bash T20 league.

"These are exciting domestic developments in conjunction with this big series," said Connor, the ECB's director of women's cricket.

"It shows the women's game is taking strides in the right direction."

And Connor hopes that Edwards' team can benefit from the attention gained by the England women's football team, who finished third at the World Cup in Canada.

"Everything that has been achieved out in Canada has gripped the nation," said Connor. "Viewing figures on the BBC have been outstanding.

"Women's sport is winning over more hearts and minds than ever. It feels like a positive time for women in sport in this country and all forms of media are really getting on board."

England squad for one-day internationals: Charlotte Edwards (capt - Kent), Katherine Brunt (Yorkshire), Kathryn Cross (Lancashire), Georgia Elwiss (Sussex), Lydia Greenway (Kent), Rebecca Grundy (Warwickshire), Jenny Gunn (Nottinghamshire), Amy Jones (Warwickshire), Heather Knight (Berkshire), Laura Marsh (Kent), Natalie Sciver (Surrey), Anya Shrubsole (Somerset), Sarah Taylor (Sussex), Lauren Winfield (Yorkshire).

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