Heather Knight: England women appoint captain after Charlotte Edwards retirement

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Heather Knight: I learned a lot from Charlotte Edwards

Heather Knight has been appointed as England women's captain after the retirement of Charlotte Edwards.

Knight, 25, vice-captain since August 2014, has played five Tests, 55 one-day internationals and 33 Twenty20s.

"I'm hugely proud and honoured to be named England captain and can't wait to face the challenges ahead," she said.

Head coach Mark Robinson praised Knight's "superb work ethic, integrity and commitment, along with good instincts and cricket intelligence".

Seamer Anya Shrubsole, 24, has been appointed vice-captain.

Edwards, captain since 2006, ended her 20-year England career in May after being told by Robinson her place in the side was no longer secure.

Edwards tweeted her congratulations to Knight, adding: "It's a wonderful honour and the best job in the world. I wish you every success and enjoy every minute."

Knight said it would be "no easy task to follow the remarkable success and impact" of Edwards,

But she added: "It's a fresh, exciting time for the team and I'm looking forward to seeing how we can develop together."

England play Pakistan in three ODIs and three T20s between 20 June and 7 July before heading to the West Indies for a five-match ODI series in October.

Heather Knight's England batting record
MatchesRunsHighest scoreAverage
Tests521715721.70
ODIs551,2547931.35
T20Is333203013.91

The shift towards youth follows England's semi-final defeat by Australia at the Women's World Twenty20 in March, when Robinson said his players "weren't fit enough" and he wanted "players who can play under pressure".

Joining Edwards in international retirement is experienced batter Lydia Greenway, while opener and wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor has announced she is taking an indefinite break from cricket.

Berkshire captain Knight, who made her England debut in 2010, is a right-handed top-order batter who has also enjoyed success as an off-spinner since switching from seam in 2014.

The BBC Sport columnist made 157 in the 2013 Women's Ashes Test at Wormsley and was the top scorer in that series as England won the first of two back-to-back Women's Ashes titles.

This year, Knight captained Hobart Hurricanes to the semi-finals of the inaugural Women's Big Bash League in Australia,

She was also named player of the series in England's ODI success in South Africa but managed only 19 runs in four matches at the World T20 in India.

The three ODIs against Pakistan and the final three matches of the West Indies series count toward the ICC Women's Championship, the qualification tournament for the 2017 Women's World Cup in England.

England are currently in sixth position on 13 points.

Analysis

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

"Heather Knight has a big act to follow, succeeding Charlotte Edwards after 10 years in the job.

"While Pakistan, the visitors this summer, aren't the toughest of opponents, Knight's team will be rebuilding.

"Mark Robinson has come from county cricket into the women's game determined to introduce discipline and a more professional approach."

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