Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023


Worcestershire batter Jack Haynes and pace bowler Josh Tongue have been named in the England Lions Test squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka’ A’ in the New Year.

The pair will fly out to Sri Lanka on January 20 for the three-week tour before returning on February 11.

Haynes has earned his first call-up for a Lions tour after being part of a three-week training camp in Abu Dhabi in November.

He was part of the England Under-19s side at the 2020 ICC Under-19s World Cup, hitting 68 against Sri Lanka in the plate competition final.


Haynes enjoyed a successful 2022 campaign at New Road, scoring three centuries in the LV=Insurance County Championship.

He said: “It’s brilliant news. Dubai was brilliant, good exposure, and to now have the opportunity to play a few games for the Lions is brilliant, and looking forward to it.

“It was a good trip, a lot of full-on training, and to play against the Test side at the end was good fun. It would have been nice to get a few more runs (36 off 42 balls), but all good.

“Sri Lanka will be a good test, playing in different conditions, hopefully learning more about my game, and playing overseas.

“It is only going to be exciting and a good challenge. As soon as the Abu Dhabi training camp came around, my goal was to get to Sri Lanka. Can’t wait to get going.

“I’m looking to build on last season next summer. I would have liked to have gone on and scored a few more runs, but hopefully, I keep improving on these sort of tours and have another good year for Worcestershire.”

Tongue, who also played for England Under-19s, has been selected after returning to fitness and action with Worcestershire during the final part of last season after a lengthy lay-off with a shoulder injury.

He had been selected on three previous occasions for the Lions, an indication of his ability and potential, only to have to withdraw each time because of various injury setbacks.

But Tongue now says he is fit and firing after a successful first half to the winter training at Malvern and hoping to make his mark during the tour.

He said: “Christmas came early for me with this news, but the hard work continues. The call-up came as a massive shock. I was in the hairdresser’s, and I saw a missed call on my phone from Mo Bobat (ECB Performance Director).

“I was thinking ‘the Lions’ potentially, and he rang me back and said I was going to Sri Lanka. Over the moon.

“It is nice to have that recognition again with the Lions, and hopefully, I can go to Sri Lanka and impress even more.

“Happy to be in the squad and all the hard work I’ve put in, not knowing where I was going to be a year ago because of the injury, and now going on the Lions tour is brilliant. I had to pinch myself a couple of times.

“The winter has gone well. I’ve been bowling for the past six weeks, it’s been going nicely, and the gym work has gone well, so feeling good.

“Like I said, from not knowing what I was going to be doing with myself last year to playing at the back end of the season, and getting a Lions call-up, is brilliant.”

ECB Performance Director, Mo Bobat, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to expose players to the challenges of playing A-team cricket in the sub-continent, which will be fantastic for their development.

“The series also provides us with the chance to observe the players ahead of this year’s World Cup as well as next winter’s Test series in India.

“The squads have been selected with careful consideration of each player’s individual programme. We’ve worked closely with the counties to understand the players’ best interests as we map their development opportunities. In some cases that includes enabling players to play in domestic franchise cricket.

“The ODI squad takes into account the strength in depth that we have across a number of key roles in our England Men’s white-ball teams and many of the players will join us directly from cricket they’ve been playing elsewhere, in Australia, South Africa or the UAE.

“After a hugely exciting and successful first half of the winter for our Test and Twenty20 teams, I am sure the Lions players will be suitably motivated to make the most of this opportunity.”

The ECB is set to confirm the Head Coach and the captains for each squad before the series, while selection is subject to attainment of England Lions minimum fitness standards.


Tom Abell (Somerset), Josh Bohannon (Lancashire), Jack Carson (Sussex), Sam Cook (Essex), Matt Fisher (Yorkshire), Nathan Gilchrist (Kent), Tom Haines (Sussex), Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire), Tom Hartley (Lancashire), Jack Haynes (Worcestershire), Lyndon James (Nottinghamshire), Alex Lees (Durham), Liam Patterson-White (Nottinghamshire), Ollie Robinson (Durham), Jamie Smith (Surrey), Josh Tongue (Worcestershire).


Tom Abell (Somerset), Tom Banton (Somerset), Jacob Bethell (Warwickshire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Sam Cook (Essex), Jordan Cox (Kent), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Matt Critchley (Essex), Matt Fisher (Yorkshire), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Tom Hartley (Lancashire), Tom Lammonby (Somerset), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Tom Prest (Hampshire), James Rew (Somerset), Luke Wood (Lancashire).


Three-day warm-up match: SLC Board XI v England Lions; 25-27 January, RPICS Colombo (10am start)
First four-day Test: Sri Lanka A v England Lions; 31 January – 3 February, GICS Galle (10am start)
Second four-day Test: Sri Lanka A v England Lions; 7-10 February, GICS Galle (10am start)

First ODI: Sri Lanka A v England Lions; 15 February, RPICS Colombo (10am start)
Second ODI: Sri Lanka A v England Lions, 18 February, RPICS Colombo (10am start)
Third ODI: Sri Lanka A v England Lions, 21 February, RPICS Colombo (10am start)