Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Moeen Returns To England Duty For Opening Test Against Sri Lanka

Moeen Returns To England Duty For Opening Test Against Sri Lanka

Moeen Ali has ended his current spell with Worcestershire and has been named in the England squad for the opening Investec Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley beginning next Thursday.

The all-rounder has featured in the last three Specsavers County Championship clashes with Gloucestershire, Essex and Glamorgan, scoring a century and two fifties.

Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes paid tribute to the contribution made by Moeen.

He said: "It has been great to have Moeen with us. He is a real special person in our dressing room.

"He is well loved by all our players and staff and very well respected. He is an important figure in the way we do things at Worcestershire.

"We all wish him well in what will be some very interesting Test series this summer (against Sri Lanka and Pakistan).

Moeen scored his maiden Test century against Sri Lanka at Headingley two years ago and came within one delivery of saving the game after masterminding a last day rearguard action.

He also needs 51 more runs to complete 1,000 in Test in what will be his 24th Test.

Nottinghamshire seam bowler Jake Ball and Hampshire batsman James Vince are the only two uncapped players named in the squad.

Ball, 25, has started the Specsavers County Championship season in good form taking 19 wickets at an average of 21.15 and is joint leading wicket-taker in the First Division.

The Mansfield-born right-armer spent the winter with the England Lions in the UAE and at a fast bowling camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

The 25-year-old Vince, the Hampshire captain, is in line to make his England Test debut adding to his one One-Day international cap and four IT20 caps.

The right-hand top order batsman is averaging 44.50 in the County Championship this season including scoring an impressive 119 against Yorkshire at Headingley last month.

ECB National Selector, James Whitaker, said: “Both Jake Ball and James Vince thoroughly deserve their opportunity having performed well with the England Lions and starting the season in good form with their respective counties.

“Building on his success with the Lions in the winter, Jake has impressed with the ball and shown excellent control and skill in the opening matches of the County Championship. If selected, we are confident he will perform very well at international level.

“James has been a consistent performer for Hampshire and England Lions over the past few years. He is already well regarded by the England coaches in the short format and now has the opportunity to showcase his skills at Test level.

“Sri Lanka are a young side and we expect a strong series between the two teams to start the summer of international cricket."

England 12-man Test squad

Alastair Cook (Essex) (Capt)

Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)

James Anderson (Lancashire)

Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)

Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)

Nick Compton (Middlesex)

Steven Finn (Middlesex)

Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire)

Joe Root (Yorkshire)

Ben Stokes (Durham)

James Vince (Hampshire)

 Moeen is also part of a 30-man Performance Squad for the 2016 summer season. This includes the 22 players who are centrally contracted and incrementally contracted.

The additional eight players, currently in the County system, make up the rest.

ECB Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss, added: “This is the first time in two seasons we have selected an England Performance Squad. I feel that it is important that we do so to enable our staff to monitor effectively those players who are on our radar, but not necessarily part of one of the England teams.

"It is also important to point out that it does not confine the selectors to pick from this squad.”

England 30-man Performance Squad:

Moeen Ali* (Worcestershire)

James Anderson* (Lancashire)

Zafar Ansari (Surrey)

Jonny Bairstow^ (Yorkshire)

Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)

Gary Ballance^ (Yorkshire)

Ian Bell* (Warwickshire)

Sam Billings (Kent)

Stuart Broad* (Nottinghamshire)

Jos Buttler* (Lancashire)

Nick Compton^ (Middlesex)

Alastair Cook* (Essex)

Tom Curran (Surrey)

Liam Dawson (Hampshire)

Steven Finn* (Middlesex)

Mark Footitt (Surrey)

Alex Hales^ (Nottinghamshire)

Chris Jordan^ (Sussex)

Eoin Morgan* (Middlesex)

Jamie Overton (Somerset)

Liam Plunkett^ (Yorkshire)

Adil Rashid^ (Yorkshire)

Joe Root*(Yorkshire)

Jason Roy^ (Surrey)

Ben Stokes* (Durham)

Reece Topley (Hampshire)

James Vince (Hampshire)

David Willey^ (Yorkshire)

Chris Woakes^ (Warwickshire)

Mark Wood* (Durham)