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Mahmood and Foster named in EPS

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Sajid Mahmood

Sajid Mahmood has been rewarded for his hard work this winter and last season

The England and Wales Cricket Board today announced a 25-man England Performance Squad for this summer’s international season, which includes Essex wicketkeeper James Foster and Lancashire fast bowler Sajid Mahmood as well as Nottinghamshire's Samit Patel and Kent's Amjad Khan.

The EPS, which has been chosen by the England selectors, consists of 12 players currently on 12-month ECB contracts plus seven on increment contracts.

Yorkshire's Adil Rashid, who was in the tour party to the Caribbean, is the only player not capped by England at Test or limited-overs level.

National selector Geoff Miller said: “The England Performance Squad is designed to allow us to monitor the development of international players and better prepare them for the demands of the international game.

“In the case of someone like Amjad Khan, who impressed everyone when he joined the latter part of the Caribbean tour, it allows us to monitor his progress after injury.

“The selectors can name up to 30 players in the EPS, but we have decided to keep five places vacant at present in order to give ourselves greater flexibility and we will reserve the right to add further players to the squad if their performances in domestic cricket merit it.

“Two players who have earned the right to be in the squad are James Foster of Essex and Lancashire's Sajid Mahmood.

"They are pressing for a place in the England squads and we will watch Mahmood, Foster and Rashid with interest when they play for the MCC against Durham at Lord's this weekend.

"Samit Patel, like Amjad Khan, has already been in the international set up in the last 12 months.”

England Performance Squad 2009:

James Foster

Essex wicketkeeper James Foster will challenge for the England gloves this summer

Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire) +
James Anderson (Lancashire) *
Ian Bell (Warwickshire) *
Ravi Bopara (Essex) +
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire) *
Paul Collingwood (Durham)*
Alastair Cook (Essex)*
Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire) *
James Foster (Essex)
Stephen Harmison (Durham)*
Robert Key (Kent)
Amjad Khan (Kent)
Dimitri Mascarenhas (Hampshire)
Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire)
Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire)*
Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)+
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)*
Matthew Prior (Sussex)+
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Owais Shah (Middlesex)+
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex)*
Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire)*
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)+
Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire)*
Luke Wright (Sussex)+

* denotes 12 players on 12-month ECB contracts
+ denotes seven players on ECB increment contracts