The England selectors today named Tim Bresnan in a 16-man tour party under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss for the forthcoming Ashes Test Series in Australia. Andrew Gale, Jonny Bairstow, Adam Lyth and Ajmal Shahzad have been chosen in the England Performance Squad.
There is however no place in either touring party for Adil Rashid who has enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2010.
Chris Tremlett, who won the last of his three Test caps against India in 2007, is recalled to the England set up for the first time since the tour of New Zealandin 2008. While Panesar wins a place in the tour party after a successful domestic season which saw him take 52 First-Class wickets for his new county.
Surrey’s Steven Davies has been named as England’s deputy wicketkeeper behind Sussex’s Matt Prior and is the only member of the squad uncapped at Test level.
The Selectors also today named eleven players to be awarded 12-month England central contracts with Warwickshire’s Jonathan Trott and Middlesex pace bowler Steven Finn each winning a central contract for the first time. A further five players have been awarded incremental contracts.
Today’s announcement also included the naming of the 16-man England Performance Programme (EPP) squad which will be based in Australia in the lead up to the first Ashes Test in Brisbane through until the start of the third Test in Perth. Michael Carberry, Craig Kieswetter, Ajmal Shahzad and James Tredwell, who have all represented the senior England side over the past 12 months, are among those included.
Commenting on the selections, ECB National Selector, Geoff Miller, said: “We believe we’ve selected an outstanding Test squad for what will be a fiercely contested Ashes series in Australia. In order to retain the Ashes we will need to play to a very high level and we believe we’ve selected a squad to do just that. Clearly there are always difficult decisions to make when selecting an England squad and this Ashes squad was no different. We feel that Chris Tremlett’s inclusion will add a real threat of pace and bounce to our bowling attack given the conditions in Australia. Chris will be vying for a place in the final team amongst a confident attack including James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn.”
Miller continued, “We feel that following an excellent season with Sussex Monty Panesar deserves his opportunity to assume the role as England’s second spinner behind Graeme Swann. Monty has gone away and worked on his bowling since his last England appearance and he continues to be an attacking threat with the ball in his hand. In terms of the second wicketkeeper’s role behind Matt Prior, Steven Davies has shown what he is capable of with Surrey and England this year, his glovework and batting have continued to reach new levels. There is real competition for places in terms of the batsmen with a number of excellent candidates vying for selection for the first Test. Each batsman brings something different to the squad but all posses the ability to significantly contribute to a winning England team.”
The England Performance Programme will be based in Brisbane from November 13 where it will play a four-day match against a Queensland XI (November 25-28) before relocating to Perth on November 29 to play a Western Australia XI (December 7-10). The EPP will remain in Perth for the lead up to the third Ashes Test before departing for the UK on December 16.
David Parsons, ECB Performance Director, said: “The England Performance Programme provides an excellent opportunity for those players identified as having considerable talent to train together in an England environment throughout the winter and further develop as cricketers. The time spent at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and Australia allows our National Lead Coaches to work intensively with the players and assess their readiness to graduate to the full England side when the opportunity arises. It has been very pleasing to see the likes of Jonathan Trott, Eoin Morgan, Steven Finn and Steven Davies who have all spent time on the programme in recent years, go on to play important roles for England.”
Jimmy Adams (Hampshire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Danny Briggs (Hampshire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Maurice Chambers (Essex), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Andrew Gale (Yorkshire), James Hildreth (Somerset), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Taylor (Leicestershire), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Woakes ( Warwickshire)
England Central Contracts
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matt Prior (Sussex), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
England incremental Contracts
Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Luke Wright (Sussex), Michael Yardy (Sussex)