Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Clarke One Of Three Keeping Options For Lions In T20 Series

Clarke One Of Three Keeping Options For Lions In T20 Series

Joe Clarke is one of three wicket-keepers vying for a spot in the England Lions side for the five match T20 series against Pakistan which gets underway tomorrow in Dubai.

The Worcestershire players kept wicket in two warm-up matches against the UAE with Surrey's Ben Foakes behind the stumps for the third encounter.

But Kent's Sam Billings has also rejoined the squad after being part of the senior side for the recent white ball battles against Pakistan in the UAE.

Clarke's county team-mate Ross Whiteley is also in contention to face Pakistan 'A' and with an opportunity to stake a claim to be part of England's ICC Twenty20 squad in India in March.

Skipper James Vince is confident the Lions will rise to a tough challenge from a strong Pakistan A squad in the five-match T20 series.

Vince has returned to the Lions squad after winning the man of the series award for a hat-trick of important innings in his first three T20 International appearances for England against Pakistan.

“I loved every minute of it, and it’s the same with the Lions,” said the 24-year-old, who has taken over the Hampshire captaincy in all forms of the game over the last 18 months.

He also led the Lions to a one-day series victory over South Africa A on a breakthrough tour last winter.

“My role changes quite a bit as captain, whereas with the England team I’ve only just come in. I’m expecting another tough test, against a pretty strong side that they’ve got.

“We’ve had three warm-up games against the UAE which were important, because other than the four of us who have been with England, the guys haven’t played cricket for a while.

Hopefully we’re peaking at the right time and tomorrow we can get off to a winning start.”

The match will get under at 9am GMT at the ICC’s Global Cricket Academy, which has been the main base for the Performance Programme for the last three weeks.

Lions squad: James Vince (captain), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Dawid Malan, Tom Westley, Sam Billings, Ben Foakes, Joe Clarke, Ross Whiteley, Liam Dawson, Stephen Parry, Danny Briggs, Reece Topley, Tom Curran, Jake Ball, Jamie Overton, Tymal Mills.

Pakistan A squad: Junaid Khan (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Shahzeb Hasan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sohaib Maqsood, Mohammad Nawaz, Bilal Asif, Babar Azam, Saifulah Bangash, Kashif Bhatti, Aamer Yamin, Saad Nasim, Mir Hamza, Zia ul Haq, Ruman Raees.