England's Sciver-Brunt to miss first T20 v Pakistan

Nat Sciver-Brunt
Nat Sciver-Brunt is the reigning ICC Women's cricketer of the year [Getty Images]

England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt will miss the first T20 international against Pakistan after undergoing a "minor medical procedure".

Sciver-Brunt will be absent for England's opening match of the summer at Edgbaston on Saturday but will return for the second match at Northampton on 17 May.

The 31-year-old's place in the middle order will go to Freya Kemp, who returns as a specialist batter as she completes her rehabilitation from a stress fracture of the back.

England captain Heather Knight told BBC Sport: "Nat’s had a minor medical procedure recently, so it's a little bit too soon for her."

Sciver-Brunt is the reigning ICC Women's cricketer of the year but Knight backed Kemp to step up against Pakistan.

She said: "Freya comes in and she'll bat at five, which is a cool opportunity for her. Freya is a massive, clean ball-striker and a left-hander, which we don't have a lot of in England. When she's back bowling, she'll become a real asset.

"We played three T20s in New Zealand without her [Sciver-Brunt] recently and that gave us an opportunity to find out about a few people and about our depth."

With the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later in the year Knight acknowledged the series will be an important staging point in a "a huge year" for England.

"We want to keep improving into that World Cup and obviously gain some momentum. It is obviously a focus on our horizon," Knight, 33, added.

"We know everyone around the world is going to obviously be doing the same and trying to get the skills in our lockers as cricketers to try and be ready for what we might face in Bangladesh is really important."

England's first T20 against Pakistan on Saturday, 11 May is live on BBC Two and iPlayer from 14:15 BST with live commentary also on 5 Sports Extra and BBC Sounds. The BBC Sport website and app will host both alongside live text commentary and in-play video clips.