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England Lions party announced

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James Hildreth

James Hildreth, part of the England Performance Programme, will lead England Lions in the West Indies

The England selectors today named the England Lions squad for the tour of the West Indies, beginning in January.

All players currently involved with the England Performance Programme and not included in the England one-day squad for the series against Australia have secured a place in the squad with Ravi Bopara (Essex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire) and James Harris (Glamorgan) also included.

Steven Finn (Middlesex) will undertake the first half of the tour with Chris Woakes (Warwickshire) replacing him for the second half.

England Lions will be participating in the West Indies Cricket Board’s regional tournament and will play four-day first-class matches against each of the other seven competing teams - Barbados, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and Windward Islands.

A full schedule will be announced in due course but the Lions are set to depart for the Caribbean on January 24 and will return to the UK on March 28 to prepare for the domestic season.

England national selector Geoff Miller said: “The tour of the West Indies gives those players who have been working hard throughout the first part of the winter an opportunity to test themselves in a competitive environment and to continue to put forward a case for inclusion in England squads over the summer.

“The England Performance Programme and England Lions tours are often crucial stages in a player’s development and offer coaches and selectors an insight into whether players have the potential to develop into world-class cricketers and thrive on the international stage.

“This is a balanced squad combining players who have had considerable exposure to international and first-class cricket with younger players who have already shown considerable promise.”

England Lions squad

James Hildreth (Somerset, captain)
Jimmy Adams (Hampshire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Maurice Chambers (Essex)
Jade Dernbach (Surrey)
Steven Finn (Middlesex - first half of tour only)
Andrew Gale (Yorkshire)
James Harris (Glamorgan)
Craig Kieswetter (Somerset)
Adam Lyth (Yorkshire)
Liam Plunkett (Durham)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
James Taylor (Leicestershire)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire - second half of tour only)