Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad and Adil Rashid have been rewarded for their winter’s work with inclusion in England’s 27-man Performance Programme which is made up of the cricketers most likely to appear during the international season.
(PHOTO: Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan has enjoyed a tremendous winter in England colours)
There is also a place for Durham’s Graham Onions who is making good progress having recovered from the stress fracture of his back which forced him to miss the entire 2010 season and Jade Dernbach of Surrey is the only uncapped player to be included.
Michael Yardy, who left the World Cup early due to depression, is among the squad as are wicketkeepers Craig Kieswetter and Steve Davies who will put pressure on Matt Prior for the one-day spot. The main purpose of the squad is to allow Andy Flower, the England team director, to manage the workload of key players during the summer.
“The England Performance Squad is designed to allow the selectors to monitor the development of international players and better prepare them for the demands of the international game,” Geoff Miller, the national selector said. “We can name 30 players in the squad but as we did last season have decided to keep three places vacant at this stage and will reserve the right to add additional players to the squad if merited by individual performances during the course of the season.”
The next batch of central contracts will be confirmed in May ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka.
Performance Programme Andrew Strauss,* James Anderson* Ian Bell*, Ravi Bopara+ Tim Bresnan+, Stuart Broad* Paul Collingwood , Alastair Cook *, Steven Davies, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan+Graham Onions, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen* Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior , Adil Rashid, Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann James Tredwell, Chris Tremlett+, Jonathon Trott* Chris Woakes, Luke Wright+, Michael Yardy+.
* denotes 11 players on 12-month ECB central contracts
+ denotes seven players on ECB increment contracts