Friday, July 8th, 2016

Dolly And Clarke Earn England Lions Call-Up For Tri-Series

Dolly And Clarke Earn England Lions Call-Up For Tri-Series

Brett D'Oliveira's outstanding start to the 2016 campaign with Worcestershire has earned him his first England Lions call-up for the Tri-Series against Pakistan 'A' and Sri Lanka 'A' later this month.

Worcestershire team-mate Joe Clarke has also received another call-up after an equally impressive opening three months to the season.

D'Oliveira has been converted from a late order batsman for the Seconds by coach Kevin Sharp just over two years ago into a first team opener by Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes with great success.

The 22-year-old is currently Worcestershire's leading run-scorer in the Specsavers County Championship with 605 runs at an average of 50 including a double hundred, a century and a 99.

But D'Oliveira's leg-spin skills have also been developing in addition to him being a destructive middle order batsman in NatWest T20 Blast cricket.

Clarke was first chosen for last winter's tour of the UAE when England Lions played five T20 and five 50 over games against Pakistan 'A'.

A calf injury meant the 20-year-old was only able to play in the opening T20 match and he enjoyed mixed fortunes in the 50 over series.

But his outstanding potential has again been evident this summer with 604 Championship runs at 50 with three centuries.

England will play both opponents twice between July 18 and 25 and the venue for the opening game against Pakistan 'A' – Cheltenham College – will be particularly poignant for Clarke.

It was there just over a year ago that he scored a double hundred for the Second Eleven against Gloucestershire which led to his elevation to the senior side – and he has not looked back since.

“The Lions play a key role in our development of international cricketers, and we believe this is an exciting squad,” said the National Selector James Whitaker.

“There is a balance of players who have represented the Lions before, with a few new faces for the future who we feel will benefit from the experience of and exposure to Lions cricket.

“We also had to be respectful to the counties who have important domestic fixtures, while again balancing that with our own competitiveness, and making sure we can perform well.”

Nine counties are represented in the squad, with Kent, Worcestershire, Lancashire and Surrey providing two players each – although Sam Curran will be available for Surrey’s Specsavers County Championship fixture at Hampshire from July 17-20 before joining the Lions.

Andy Flower, who will again be the head coach, said: “It is important for the Lions to play home matches in the summer as well as touring during the winter for a number of reasons, and we are grateful to the counties for recognising that if we are going to reap the benefits of playing abroad in the winter, we have to offer the equivalent opportunity to the developing cricketers of Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

“We’ve had quite a large transition from last winter’s Lions squad to the national side, and that means we will have a much younger group. That is going to make this a challenging series against some experienced cricketers from Sri Lanka and Pakistan, but it will provide a great opportunity for our young players to test themselves.”


Dawid Malan (Middlesex, captain)

Daniel Bell-Drummond (Kent)

Ben Duckett (Northants)

Joe Clarke (Worcestershire)

Brett D’Oliveira (Worcestershire)

Sam Billings (Kent, wk)

Liam Livingstone (Lancashire)

Liam Dawson (Hampshire)

Tom Curran (Surrey)

Jamie Overton (Somerset)

Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire)

George Garton (Sussex)

Sam Curran (Surrey) * to join squad for last two matches only

Tri-Series Fixtures

Monday July 18 – Pakistan A v Sri Lanka A (Cheltenham)

Tuesday July 19 – England Lions v Pakistan A (Cheltenham)

Thursday July 21 – England Lions v Sri Lanka A (Northampton)

Friday July 22 – Pakistan A v Sri Lanka A (Northampton)

Sunday July 24 – England Lions v Pakistan A (Canterbury)

Monday July 25 – England Lions v Sri Lanka A (Canterbury)