Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Clarke And Whiteley Form Part Of Reshaped Lions Squad

Clarke And Whiteley Form Part Of Reshaped Lions Squad

Worcestershire duo Joe Clarke and Ross Whiteley are part of a reshaped England Lions squad for the five match T20 series against Pakistan A in the UAE.

Four of England’s recent T20 winners against Pakistan at senior international level have rejoined the group.

James Vince, who has been in the UAE since mid-November as part of the England Performance Programme and was named man of the series in England’s 3-0 victory against the senior Pakistan team, had already been confirmed as captain of a squad which also includes Sam Billings, Stephen Parry and Reece Topley.

Clarke and Whiteley will know all about Vince's qualities in the short format of the game after his brilliant hundred against Worcestershire in last season's NatWest T20 Blast quarter-final with Hampshire at New Road.

The Lions have lost four members of the 16-man squad originally selected in September, with Zafar Ansari and Lewis Gregory injured, David Willey released to play in the Big Bash and Chris Jordan promoted to the senior squad for the Test tour of South Africa.

They have been replaced by Danny Briggs, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson and Jamie Overton, all of whom have been on the EPP for the last three weeks, either in Dubai or South Africa.

For Briggs and Dawson – as well as Parry, Tom Westley and Dawid Malan – inclusion in the Lions squad will allow them to continue working with Daniel Vettori, the former New Zealand captain who arrived in Dubai on Sunday to work with the spinners alongside the ECB’s head spin coach Peter Such.

Steven Finn, who joined the EPP over the weekend to continue his rehabilitation from the foot injury he suffered before the Test series against Pakistan in October, will also stay in Dubai to continue working with the fast bowling coach Richard Johnson, and may play for the Lions as part of his back to bowling plan.

Craig Overton was not considered because of an elbow problem, and he will now return to Somerset for further medical management and rehabilitation.

Andy Flower, the head coach of the EPP and the Lions, said: “We now switch from the Performance Programme, which has allowed the players to work intensively on their skills, to the first of two five-match series against Pakistan A.

“We welcome back the four guys who have been involved in the T20 series against Pakistan and congratulate all four of them on making significant contributions to England’s win.”

The Lions are due to play a final warm-up match against a United Arab Emirates XI on Friday before the first match against Pakistan A next Monday.

The Lions squad is:

James Vince (captain) Hampshire

Jake Ball Nottinghamshire

Daniel Bell-Drummond Kent

Sam Billings Kent

Danny Briggs Sussex

Joe Clarke Worcestershire

Tom Curran Surrey

Liam Dawson Hampshire

Ben Foakes Surrey

Jamie Overton Somerset

Dawid Malan Middlesex

Tymal Mills Sussex

Stephen Parry Lancashire

Reece Topley Hampshire

Tom Westley Essex

Ross Whiteley Worcestershire