London: World Cup-winning captain Heather Knight will lead a 16-strong England Women squad to New Zealand for a trip that will see her side play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches against the White Ferns, it was announced Thursday.
A team coached by former Australia international Lisa Keightley will fly to New Zealand ahead of fixtures to be played in February and March.
But senior pace bowler Anya Shrubsole has been ruled out after suffering a knee injury, while Katie George has been sidelined with a stress fracture in her back.
The coronavirus pandemic threatened to scupper the 2020 season for England Women, with India and South Africa both withdrawing from scheduled tours because of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, England's defence of the 50-over World Cup was pushed back to 2022 as a result of Covid-19.
But a hastily arranged Twenty20 series at home to the West Indies behind closed doors in Derby saw England complete a 5-0 clean sweep.
England director of women's cricket, Jonathan Finch, said: "We're hugely excited about getting over to New Zealand and maintaining our commitment to play international cricket despite these challenging times.
"We have a really important 24 months in front of us with two ICC global events, the Women's Ashes and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
"Our ambition is to be successful across all these events and this tour is the first step towards achieving that.
"2020 has provided many challenges, but under the leadership of Lisa and Heather we have a group of players who are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead."
Heather Knight (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Georgia Elwiss, Tash Farrant, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones (wkt), Nat Sciver, Mady Villiers, Fran Wilson, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Danni Wyatt
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Play was halted for a few minutes at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday after India pacer Mohammed Siraj complained of racial abuse from a section of the crowd, leading to the expulsion of six spectators and an unreserved apology from Cricket Australia.
"Emirates Cricket Board confirms that tomorrow's match... against Ireland has been suspended," a statement from the board said.
Last week, Amir had also talked about a desperate need for a change in the environment of the Pakistan dressing room.