The England selectors today announced that three Yorkshire players Gary Ballance, Alex Lees and Liam Plunkett will play for the England Lions team to play Australia in a two-day game starting on 16th August at The County Ground, Northampton.
Northamptonshire CCC were originally due to play Australia at Wantage Road, but due to their qualification for the Friends Life t20 Finals Day, the Lions team led by Eoin Morgan, will now fulfil the fixture.
Ashley Giles will coach the side which includes three Lions debutants. Warwickshire fast bowler Keith Barker, Lees and Sussex batsman Luke Wells all represent the Lions for the first time, with Wells having previously played within the England setup for the Under-19s.
The side will include a number of players who have represented England before at a senior level, across different formats. These include the captain Morgan, Ballance, Jos Butler, James Harris, Simon Kerrigan, Plunkett and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes.
National selector Geoff Miller said: “Northamptonshire’s progression to the t20 Finals Day has presented us with a great opportunity to field a strong Lions team to face the Australian’s at Wantage Road. We have looked to reward the players from the County circuit who have performed well this season and will look to push for places in future England squads with this fixture.
“With the Friends Life t20 Finals day running over the weekend of this fixture, we have been unable to select from any of the sides involved in that competition for obvious reasons, plus there are a number of other domestic fixtures that run very closely to this Lions game, so for practical reasons we had to recognise that a number of Counties’ players were unavailable.
“As is always the case with these fixtures, they are an excellent marker for judging the level of these players at a very high international standard and we look forward to seeing the team perform strongly against the Australian opposition.”