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Onions earns Lions call

England Lions

Graham Onions

Fit-again Durham paceman Graham Onions has been rewarded for his encouraging start to the season with a place in the England Lions squad

The England selectors today named a 12-man England Lions squad to face Sri Lanka in a four-day match at the County Ground, Derby, from May 19-22.

Somerset's James Hildreth will captain a side that includes seven members of the England Lions squad that ended the winter unbeaten after taking part in the regional four-day competition in the West Indies, six of whom were also selected on the England Performance Programme during the early part of last winter.

There is a welcome return for Graham Onions, who is back in an England squad after a 15-month absence through injury, and he is joined by three members of the Ashes-winning party in Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan and Ajmal Shahzad.

National selector Geoff Miller said: "It has been very pleasing to see many of the players selected for the England Lions squad last winter make good starts to the domestic season and they have been rewarded with an opportunity to play a strong Sri Lankan side and push for further international honours.

"England Lions games are crucial stages in a player's development and give selectors a good indication of whether players are ready to make the transition into the full England side.

"Furthermore, it's an excellent chance for fans to enjoy watching a talented young England squad take on a very good Sri Lankan Test side."

England Lions squad

James Hildreth (Somerset, captain)
Jimmy Adams (Hampshire)
Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Jade Dernbach (Surrey)
Steven Finn (Middlesex)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Graham Onions (Durham)
Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)
Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire)
James Taylor (Leicestershire)

Tickets for the England Lions v Sri Lanka match are priced at £15.

Supporters can save £2 on the price of entry by purchasing their tickets in advance for £13, by calling 01332 388 101 or online at www.derbyshireccc.com. For more information on the England Lions visit www.ecb.co.uk/england-lions.

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