An investment in Sarah Taylor’s long-term health was behind the decision not to include her in England’s squad for the tour of India.
Taylor and Katherine Brunt were two of the familiar names left out of the squad but, while Brunt’s absence was explained by a back injury, Taylor’s was a more preventative measure to ensure she suffered no recurrence of the anxiety issues that caused her to take time away from the game in 2016.
While insisting there were “no issues” with Taylor, England coach Mark Robinson accepted her condition required some management.
“Any player’s well-being is the most important thing at any time,” Robinson said. “And that’s why Sarah is not going on this tour.
“I want her for the long term. I don’t want her to over-do it and go ‘ping’ again. We want her to be able to spend more time doing stuff with her support network to fortify herself for what’s to come. It was not for any negative reasons, it’s a thought-out plan. The idea from a long way out was to give her this window as a person.”
The other aspect of Taylor’s absence is that it will provide another opportunity for Amy Jones. While Jones’ international record to date is modest, she remains highly rated by the England management and in contention for a place should injury befall Taylor, in particular.
“It creates an opportunity for Amy to gain exposure,” Robinson said. “It’s so we’re not just turning out the same old players and we not suddenly stuck if things go a bit wrong.”
Taylor remains very much the No. 1 choice as keeper, though.
“If it was a competition for keeps she’d be on the plane,” Robinson said. “I promise there are no issues at all with Sarah. She’s doing brilliantly.
“When she made her comeback she focussed a lot on her well-being and worked hard with her support team and on her cricket as well. Then we went into the World Cup and that went straight into the Super League. Then we went straight into the Ashes and she had no time to breathe. So we always tried to earmark the next four months after the end of the Ashes to focus on herself as well as her cricket.
“There’s a really good network behind Sarah. She has a good mum and dad; a good partner. Sarah is incredibly brave to speak openly about her issues. She’s a great example to us all.”