Ryana Macdonald-Gay Earns Maiden England Call-Up Ahead of New Zealand Series

Following England’s tour of New Zealand earlier this year, where the visitors triumphed 4-1 in the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and 2-1 in the One-Day Internationals, the two teams are set to face off again in a reciprocal tour, in eight white-ball games from June 26 to July 17, 2024. Ahead of the series, Kate Cross’ minor injury has turned into a blessing in disguise for Ryana Macdonald-Gay, who has earned her maiden senior national team call-up.

Ryana Macdonald-Gay Earns Maiden England Call-Up Ahead of New Zealand Series
Ryana Macdonald-Gay Earns Maiden England Call-Up Ahead of New Zealand Series

The Kent-born all-rounder made her county debut against Sussex in 2019 as a 15-year-old, returning figures of 1/22 from three overs. In 2021, she was named in the SouthEast Stars academy intake, earned a contract with the senior team later that summer, and eventually debuted in premier domestic competitions, the Charlotte Edwards (CE) Cup and the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy (RHFT).

Notably, in her second ‘Twenty20 Cup’ season appearance in 2022, she was Kent’s leading wicket-taker, with 10 wickets at an average of 9.00. In the same year, she registered her maiden List A half-century, scoring 54* against Lightning (now The Blaze), and also scalped 6 wickets. Continuing to make strides in domestic cricket, Ryana’s hard work and commitment were recognized with her first professional contract with the SouthEast Stars at the end of the 2022 season.

In her breakthrough year, 2022, Ryana Macdonald-Gay also featured for the Oval Invincibles. In their successful title defense, she made a name for herself in the star-studded Invincibles lineup, picking up 5 wickets from 4 games and scoring an unbeaten 19* in her only outing with the bat. Following a stellar season, in October 2022, Ryana was named in England’s Under-19 squad for the inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup.

At the 2023 Under-19 World Cup, Ryana bagged 4 wickets from as many bowling innings, maintaining an economy rate of 4.25. She also added 72 runs from 5 outings with the bat, including the highest score of 35*, at a strike rate of 118.03. Her success continued into The Hundred, where she impressed further by taking 8 wickets from 7 outings, including a best of 4/16.

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Featuring for England A, Ryana bagged 6 wickets from 3 T20 appearances against Australia A last year. On England’s tour of New Zealand earlier this year, she took 5 wickets from 2 T20s, maintaining an economy rate of 5.25, and in a couple of One Dayers, she bagged 6 wickets with an economy rate of 4.95. England’s head coach Jon Lewis hailed her success on the same tour, leading to her maiden call-up.

Quoting Jon Lewis, “Ryana has been a standout bowler in domestic 50-over cricket and had a good 50-over tour of New Zealand with our England A team. We have brought her in at this point as we have a couple of niggles in the squad. We have been really impressed with her skill level and accuracy. She is an exciting young talent, and we look forward to having her in the squad.’

It is understood that seasoned pacer Kate Cross picked up an injury in the development game against New Zealand. While skipper Heather Knight stated that Kate’s absence is “a bit of a blow,” she hopes for her speedy recovery and availability in the 2nd and 3rd ODIs. Knight spoke highly of Ryana’s inclusion into the team.

Quoting Heather Knight, “I remember thinking she was quite accurate and quite skillful with her variations of pace (in The Hundred). She doesn’t leave the stumps too much as a little skiddy seamer. From what I can hear, she’s grown a lot in the last year.

“That A tour to New Zealand (earlier this year) was a really big one for her, she performed really well, against good opposition as well. She’s started this season stellarly, and she can bat and field as well. I saw her in the U19 World Cup, she was quite impressive out there for England as well.”

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In the 2024 domestic season, in the ongoing 50-over competition RHFT, she has struck 12 wickets from 4 one-dayers, including a best of 5/31, averaging 11.75 and maintaining an economy rate of 4.27. In the recently concluded 2024 T20 season, CE Cup, she scalped 8 wickets from 11 games, maintaining an economy rate of 7.27. If given her maiden international cap, she’ll have the backing of the team to replicate her domestic success in international cricket.

3-match ODI series squads:

England – Heather Knight (C), Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice ⁠Capsey, Charlie ⁠Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie ⁠Ecclestone, Lauren Filer, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, ⁠Bess Heath, Amy ⁠Jones, Freya ⁠Kemp, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Linsey Smith, Danielle Wyatt

New Zealand – Sophie Devine (C), Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Lauren Down, Izzy Gaze (WK), Maddy Green, Mikaela Greig, Brooke Halliday, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe

England v New Zealand series schedule:

26-Jun-24 1st ODI 5:30 PM Chester-le-Street
29-Jun-24 2nd ODI 3:30 PM Worcester
03-Jul-24 3rd ODI 5:30 PM Bristol
06-Jul-24 1st T20I 7:00 PM Southampton
09-Jul-24 2nd T20I 11:00 PM Hove
11-Jul-24 3rd T20I 11:00 PM Canterbury
13-Jul-24 4th T20I 11:00 PM The Oval
17-Jul-24 5th T20I 10:30 PM Lord’s
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