Gaur, 17, has earned her call-up after a series of eyecatching displays this summer, most recently for Manchester Originals in her maiden season of the Women’s Hundred. As a left-arm seamer capable of swing from a high release point, she has previously represented UAE in 19 T20Is, and was a key member of the Thunder squad that reached the Charlotte Edwards Cup Finals Day in June.
Both Gaur and Heath have been part of the England A set-up in recent seasons, including the recent warm-up matches against Australia A ahead of the white-ball leg of this year’s Women’s Ashes.
Another young star of the women’s set-up, Freya Kemp, returns to the 20-over squad after recovering from a stress fracture in her back, while fast bowler Lauren Filer – who impressed with her raw speed on debut in the Ashes Test – receives her first T20I call-up.
England will be missing a number of star players in the course of the six white-ball matches. Sophie Ecclestone and Sophia Dunkley are being rested from the entire campaign, which begins in Hove on August 31 and ends at Grace Road on September 14, while Nat Sciver-Brunt and Danni Wyatt will miss the T20I and ODI legs respectively, to manage their workloads.
“We have named a squad with a good blend of youth and experience and see this as an important series to test the depth of playing pool,” Jon Lewis, England’s head coach, said. “We have some exciting, new young players coming in who we are looking forward to working with.
“Mahika [Gaur] is a very exciting talent. Left-arm swing bowlers of over six-foot tall are unique in women’s cricket. Mahika has shown consistently this summer that she is a threat with the new ball and we are excited to see how she performs at international level.
“Bess [Heath] is an all-action cricketer who impacts games and is a great fit for us and how we want to play. She impressed in the A team games against Australia earlier in the summer and she also provides cover for Amy Jones with the gloves.
“With a World Cup coming up next year it’s imperative we develop the squad and players can gain international caps and experience.
“The chance to play at venues around the country is exciting. It’s great the opening fixture against Sri Lanka at Hove is now sold out.
“After an incredible Ashes summer, we want to maintain momentum on and off the field and look forward to getting started.”
Meanwhile, an ECB Development XI will take on Sri Lanka in a warm-up fixture at Arundel on Monday 28 August. The squad will be announced once the final three teams to progress in the Hundred are confirmed.
England T20I squad Heather Knight (capt), Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Issy Wong, Danni Wyatt
England ODI squad Heather Knight (capt), Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver-Brunt