A 16-man England Performance Programme (EPP) squad was announced for winter 2013.
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.
“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.”
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)
*Jamie Overton and Mark Wood are to remain in the UK and specialise in strength and conditioning with the PEPP programme at the NCPC.