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Wright ready to lead Lions

By Rob Barnett

Luke Wright’s sole experience of senior captaincy was in a Second XI Championship game during 2005, so he is excited to be leading England Lions in three one-dayers with Bangladesh A this week.

The 28-year-old Sussex all-rounder, with 46 one-day international and 44 Twenty20 international caps, heads up a 12-man squad that is being overseen by England limited-overs coach Ashley Giles.

For the record, Wright’s previous experience of being skipper was a rain-ruined draw with Gloucestershire seconds at Bristol. However, he is happy to take on extra responsibility for the Lions.

“When I spoke to (national selector) Geoff Miller, initially I was just delighted to be in the squad with all these players and have another opportunity (to) hopefully push my case for the one-dayers,” he told ecb.co.uk.

“But then when he mentioned that he wanted me to captain I was very excited and I was very proud to take it up and accept it. I’m just looking forward to it.”

The first match is tomorrow at Bristol ahead of fixtures at Taunton on Thursday and Saturday. Entry is free to Gloucestershire and Somerset members at their home ground.

Wright added: “At Sussex now I’m one of the senior players so every now and again someone will come to you, especially in white-ball cricket, and ask you what you think or advice or anything.

“I suppose you’re always thinking about the game but don’t always get the chance when you’re not captain to implement it.

“Looking at the squad, the guys here are having fantastic seasons. It’s not a case of (doing) anything drastic. I’m sure they’ll have their own ideas of what sort of field they’re after. It’s just managing it overall really.”

Perhaps the most in-form Lions player is David Willey, man of the match in Northants Steelbacks’ Friends Life t20 final thrashing of Surrey on Saturday at Edgbaston.

Willey hit the fastest fifty in this year’s competition, from 19 balls, then contributed a run-out and a catch before ending the game with a hat-trick for figures of 4-9.

“He’s someone that I’ve always admired when I’ve played against him. I thought he had something. He’s always a good competitor and can strike a ball.

“Playing against him he hasn’t come off thus far against Sussex, but watching him bat the other day was exciting and credit to him, he’s having a great season.

“To win the game like he did the other day and put in a performance, it’s the sort of thing that stands out to selectors. We’ve got him coming in when he couldn’t be more confident, which is great for us as a side.”

ECB managing director of England Cricket Hugh Morris added: "We are delighted to hear that both Gloucestershire CCC and Somerset CCC - hosts of the Lions fixtures, will be offering free entry to all their members.

“I would encourage as many England fans as possible in the local areas, to come down and support the Lions as they look to take on a strong Bangladesh A team in this three-match series."

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