England selectors today named a 17-man squad for the Ashes Test series in Australia including three players uncapped at Test level – Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, Warwickshire pace bowler Boyd Rankin and Durham all rounder Ben Stokes.
In total six players are included in the squad who did not feature in an XI during the recent 3-0 Investec Ashes series victory. Alongside the uncapped Test trio, Michael Carberry, Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett have all been recalled.
Carberry has been capped once at Test level, making his debut in Bangladesh in 2010. Panesar has already won 48 Test caps in his seven year international career, the last of which was against New Zealand in Auckland earlier this year. Surrey pace bowler Tremlett, who took 17 wickets in the 2010/11 Ashes series in Australia, will be hoping to add to his 11 Test caps.
Alastair Cook will lead a squad looking to win a fourth Ashes series in a row, a feat that has not been achieved by an England team since 1890.
Selectors also announced a 16-man England Performance Programme (EPP) squad. The England Performance Programme will spend a period training at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough followed by a month in Australia.
The EPP will be based in Brisbane for a fortnight followed by two weeks in Perth. Two of the players included in the squad, Middlesex batsmen Sam Robson and Durham pace bowler Mark Wood, are yet to be selected for England programmes in any format.
National selector, Geoff Miller, said: “We are fully aware that the Ashes series will once again be fiercely contested and that this squad will need to work extremely hard and play to a very high level to retain the Ashes and we believe we have selected a squad capable of doing just that.
"As we have seen in previous series we will need all members of the squad ready to step up and make vital contributions throughout the five Tests and we feel that all 17 players have the ability to do that.
"There is real competition for places with both bat and ball and we feel that we have provided Andy Flower and Alastair Cook with a well balanced squad.
“Tim Bresnan has not been named in the squad and is continuing his recovery from a stress fracture in his back. He will travel to Australia with the squad to maximise his rehab opportunities with the medical team and coaches who will monitor his progress.
“The England Performance Programme provides an excellent opportunity for those players identified as having considerable talent to train together in an England environment throughout the winter and further develop as cricketers and this is an exciting young squad who have impressed in domestic cricket recently.
“The time spent at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and Australia allows our coaches to work intensively with the players and assess their readiness to graduate to the full England side when the opportunity arises.
“Gary Ballance, Boyd Rankin and Ben Stokes have all come through the EPP in recent years and have put in strong performances for their counties and England teams to earn an opportunity to step into the Test environment.”
Alastair Cook (Essex) (Capt)
Matt Prior (Sussex) (VC)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Michael Carberry (Hampshire)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Monty Panesar (Sussex/Essex)
Kevin Pietersen (Surrey)
Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire)
Joe Root (Yorkshire)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Chris Tremlett (Surrey)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
England Performance Programme Squad
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Jos Buttler (Somerset)
Varun Chopra (Warwickshire)
Ben Foakes (Essex)
James Harris (Middlesex)
Chris Jordan (Sussex)
Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire)
Alex Lees (Yorkshire)
Tymal Mills (Essex)
Jamie Overton* (Somerset)
Sam Robson (Middlesex)
Reece Topley (Essex)
James Vince (Hampshire)
David Willey (Northamptonshire)
Mark Wood* (Durham)
An announcement of those players awarded central contracts for 2013/14 will be made later this week.
*To remain in the UK and specialise in strength and conditioning with the PEPP programme at the NCPC.