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Tremlett and Panesar return for Ashes

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Chris Tremlett

Chris Tremlett, whose last Test cap was versus India in 2007, has impressed with his performances for Surrey this season

The England selectors today named a 16-man tour party under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss for the forthcoming Ashes Test series in Australia with Surrey pace bowler Chris Tremlett and Sussex left-arm spinner Monty Panesar both recalled to the squad.

Tremlett, who won the last of his three Test caps against India in 2007, is recalled to the England set-up for the first time since the tour of New Zealand in 2008, while Panesar wins a place in the tour party after a successful domestic season which saw him take 52 first-class wickets for his new county.

Surrey’s Steven Davies has been named as England’s deputy wicketkeeper behind Sussex’s Matt Prior and is the only member of the squad uncapped at Test level.

The selectors also today named 11 players to be awarded 12-month England central contracts with Warwickshire’s Jonathan Trott and Middlesex pace bowler Steven Finn each winning a central contract for the first time. A further five players have been awarded incremental contracts.

Today’s announcement also included the naming of the 16-man England Performance Programme squad, which will be based in Australia in the lead up to the first Ashes Test in Brisbane through until the start of the third Test in Perth.

Michael Carberry, Craig Kieswetter, Ajmal Shahzad and James Tredwell, who have all represented the senior England side over the past 12 months, are among those included.

Commenting on the selections, ECB national selector Geoff Miller said: “We believe we’ve selected an outstanding Test squad for what will be a fiercely contested Ashes series in Australia.

“In order to retain the Ashes we will need to play to a very high level and we believe we’ve selected a squad to do just that.

“Clearly there are always difficult decisions to make when selecting an England squad and this Ashes squad was no different.

“We feel that Chris Tremlett’s inclusion will add a real threat of pace and bounce to our bowling attack given the conditions in Australia.

Monty Panesr & Michael Yardy

Monty Panesar, left, took 52 first-class wickets in his first year with Sussex, earning him a recall to the Test squad

“Chris will be vying for a place in the final team amongst a confident attack including James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn.

“We feel that, following an excellent season with Sussex, Monty Panesar deserves his opportunity to assume the role as England’s second spinner behind Graeme Swann.

“Monty has gone away and worked on his bowling since his last England appearance and he continues to be an attacking threat with the ball in his hand.

“In terms of the second wicketkeeper’s role behind Matt Prior, Steven Davies has shown what he is capable of with Surrey and England this year; his glovework and batting have continued to reach new levels.

“There is real competition for places in terms of the batsmen with a number of excellent candidates vying for selection for the first Test.

“Each batsman brings something different to the squad but all posses the ability to significantly contribute to a winning England team.”

Strauss said: “I am excited by the Test squad we have selected for the upcoming Ashes series as I firmly believe we have a number of match-winners across all areas of the squad.

“It’s exciting to have the Ashes as our sole focus from this point on and I know every member of this Ashes squad will be relishing the challenge of retaining the Ashes in Australia.

“To captain England in an Ashes series Down Under is a huge honour and something I am looking forward to with enormous anticipation.

“We realise the challenge ahead of us in Australia but it is a test we welcome and look forward to meeting head on.”

The England Performance Programme will be based in Brisbane from November 13.

It will play a four-day match against a Queensland XI (November 25-28) before relocating to Perth on November 29 to play a Western Australia XI (December 7-10).

The EPP will remain in Perth for the lead-up to the third Ashes Test before departing for the UK on December 16.

Fawad Alam & Steven Davies

Surrey wicketkeeper Steven Davies, the only member of the Ashes squad without a Test cap, was solid in the NatWest Series

David Parsons, ECB performance director, said: “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.

“The time spent at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and Australia allows our national lead coaches to work intensively with the players and assess their readiness to graduate to the full England side when the opportunity arises.

“It has been very pleasing to see the likes of Jonathan Trott, Eoin Morgan, Steven Finn and Steven Davies, who have all spent time on the programme in recent years, go on to play important roles for England.”

Commenting on the award of central contracts, ECB managing director Hugh Morris said: “I am delighted that Jonathan Trott and Steven Finn have both been awarded 12-month central contracts for the first time.

“Central contracts are designed to reward players who perform well consistently for England, and Jonathan and Steven have made a very significant contribution to the team’s recent success in the last year.

“I am also pleased to announce that we are finalising our agreement with the PCA over the terms and conditions of England players’ 12-month central contracts.

“These terms are the result of detailed and constructive discussions with the PCA and will now cover a three-year period going forward, which includes two Ashes Test Series and an ICC Cricket World Cup.”

Angus Porter, PCA chief executive, said: “We're pleased that following a lengthy but constructive period of discussion, the terms and conditions for central and incremental contracts are close to being finalised.

“We are currently drawing up final contracts, and we are confident that these contracts will be signed when they are formally offered on October 1.”

England Ashes Test squad

Andrew Strauss (captain, Middlesex)
Alastair Cook (vice-captain, Essex)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Steven Davies (wicketkeeper, Surrey)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Monty Panesar (Sussex)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Matt Prior (wicketkeeper, Sussex)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Chris Tremlett (Surrey)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)

England Performance Programme squad

Jimmy Adams (Hampshire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Michael Carberry (Hampshire)
Maurice Chambers (Essex)
Jade Dernbach (Surrey)
Andrew Gale (Yorkshire)
James Hildreth (Somerset)
Craig Kieswetter (Somerset)
Adam Lyth (Yorkshire)
Liam Plunkett (Durham)
Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
James Taylor (Leicestershire)
James Tredwell (Kent)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

England central contracts

Andrew Strauss (Middlesex)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Matt Prior (Sussex)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)

England incremental contracts

Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Luke Wright (Sussex)
Michael Yardy (Sussex)