The England selectors today named Jonny Bairstow and Ajmal Shahzad in a 12-man England Lions squad to face Sri Lanka in a four-day match at The County Ground, Derby from 19-22 May. Both will miss the Roses clash against Lancashire at Liverpool next week.
Somerset’s James Hildreth will captain a side that includes seven members of the England Lions squad that ended the winter unbeaten after taking part in the regional 4-day competition in the West Indies, six of whom were also selected on the England Performance Programme during the early part of last winter.
There is a welcome return for Graham Onions who returns to an England squad after a 15 month absence through injury and he is joined by three members of the Ashes winning squad in Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan and Ajmal Shahzad.
Geoff Miller said: “It has been very pleasing to see many of the players selected for the England Lions squad last winter make good starts to the domestic season and they have been rewarded with an opportunity to play a strong Sri Lankan side and push for further international honours. England Lions games are crucial stages in a player’s development and give selectors a good indication of whether players are ready to make the transition into the full England side. Furthermore it’s an excellent chance for fans to enjoy watching a talented young England squad take on a very good Sri Lankan Test side.”
James Hildreth (Somerset) (Capt), Jimmy Adams (Hampshire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Danny Briggs (Hampshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire), James Taylor (Leicestershire)
Tickets for the England Lions vs Sri Lanka match are priced at £15. Supporters can save £2 on the price of entry by purchasing their tickets in advance for £13, either by calling 01332 388 101 or online at www.derbyshireccc.com. For more information on the England Lions visit www.ecb.co.uk/england