Johanna Konta to miss Billie Jean King Cup play-offs as Heather Watson leads the team


In today’s news: Johanna Konta misses out on GB squad for the Billie Jean King Cup play-offs, Sarah Taylor announces her return to cricket, and Hannah Rankin speaks out in support of the “No Means No” campaign.

Johanna Konta to miss Billie Jean King Cup play-off tie

Great Britain will be without Johanna Konta for their Billie Jean King Cup play-off tie against Mexico.

The British number one was unavailable for selection due to injury, as a troublesome knee problem continues to persist.

Heather Watson is the highest-ranked player in the squad, which also features Katie Swan, Harriet Dart, Jodie Burrage and Katie Boulter.

Victory would put Britain through to a one-off qualifier in February, as part of the reformatted Fed Cup.

The tie will take place in Roehampton between the 16th and 17th of April.


Sarah Taylor joins Welsh Fire for the Hundred

Former England wicketkeeper Sarah Taylor has announced her return to cricket after a two-year absence and will join the Welsh Fire for the new Hundred competition, which gets underway this summer.

The 31-year-old scored over 6,500 runs for England and is the most prolific international wicketkeeper of all time, with 232 dismissals.

Speaking to GiveMeSport Women, Taylor reflected on her retirement from international cricket in 2019, and how she had overcome “demons” to return for The Hundred.

The England legend will join several other world-class names at Welsh Fire, including Australian captain Meg Lanning and all-rounder Jess Jonassen.

Birmingham City manager Carla Ward acting as an intermediary following letter of complaint

Birmingham City Women’s manager Carla Ward is acting as a go-between for the club and players after the squad sent a letter complaining about their conditions.

The players addressed the differences of provision for the women’s team and the men’s, including access to the training-ground gym, changing rooms and away fixture travel.

Birmingham have already faced multiple problems this season, such as pulling out of their WSL fixture with Spurs because of a shortage of available players and postponing another game because of the poor condition of their pitch at Damson Park.

In a statement to The Telegraph, the club stressed “It's no secret we have one of the lowest budgets in the league. Covid has only compounded this. This certainly makes it difficult to compete, but we're doing our best on and off the pitch in what is a very difficult time for professional football.”

Hannah Rankin speaks out in support of the “No Means No” campaign

Former IBO world champion Hannah Rankin has spoken out in support of the “No Means No” campaign in the wake of the tragic death of Sarah Everard last month.

The campaign is led by sports agent Sonia Randev who says: “For a long time, myself and many women have not felt that we can speak up about such things due to the lack of support from such institutions.

“We want to see tougher laws put in place, more access to information on sexual predators. We have a right to feel safe, not brave.”

Rankin joins the likes of Natasha Jones, Team GB’s first female Olympic boxer , and Kal Yafai, a former WBA super flyweight world champion, in promoting the movement.

“I want to be part of the campaign because as a strong independent female with a public profile, I believe it’s important to give others a voice and a platform,” Rankin said.

Esme Morgan called up to England squad for France and Canada games

Manchester City defender Esme Morgan has been called up to the England Women’s squad for this month’s friendlies against France and Canada.

Morgan will join up with the squad at the team’s training base at St. George’s Park on Tuesday and be available for both games.

On loan at Everton last season, Morgan has featured 10 times in the league for City this campaign and has started the last two matches for Gareth Taylor.

The 20-year-old has played three times for the England U-21’s but is yet to make her full senior debut.

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