Three of the stars of Essex’s triumphant season in the Specsavers County Championship have been rewarded by selection in the England Lions squad for a training camp in Australia in November and December.
Dan Lawrence, Jamie Porter and Tom Westley, who all played for Lions this summer, are included in a 17-man party which will be based first in Brisbane, and then in Perth.
In addition Chris Silverwood, the head coach of the county champions, will join the Lions for a second consecutive winter, as fast bowling coach - with Adam Hollioake, the former Surrey and England captain, also appointed as fielding coach.
Westley is one of three members of the squad who played Test cricket this summer, with Keaton Jennings and Mark Wood also selected.
Ben Duckett completes a quartet of players with Test caps, and the Lancashire all-rounder Liam Livingstone is the fifth member of the squad with senior international experience.
Porter and Lawrence made their debuts for the Lions this summer and the England selectors have included four players yet to play for the Lions – Dom Bess, Paul Coughlin, Alex Davies and Amar Virdi – although both Bess and Virdi spent time training with the Lions squad in the summer, and Coughlin played in the North-South Series earlier this year.
James Whitaker, the National Selector, said: “This camp provides an opportunity for emerging young talent and some players with international experience to work hard on their game in Australia, in excellent facilities, under the guidance of Andy Flower and our other lead coaches. The players selected have a range of experience, and we believe they are an exciting group.
“This is a great chance for them to impress, before we select another Lions squad for the games against West Indies A in the second half of the winter. We would expect a number of other players to be in contention for that squad – for example Haseeb Hameed was not considered for the Australia camp to avoid him having to rush back from the injury he suffered recently playing for Lancashire.”
The Lions will spend a week at the Performance Centre in Loughborough before flying to Brisbane on November 14, for a two-week camp with a red-ball focus culminating in a three-day match against a Queensland XI at the Allan Border Oval from November 27-29 – although this will not be an official England Lions fixture.
They then head west to Perth for two weeks focusing on white-ball skills during which they will play three T20 matches against a Scorchers team who will be preparing for the Big Bash.
The Lions squad for a seven-week trip to the West Indies in 2018, including three four-day matches and three 50-over fixtures, will be selected in December, along with the squads for the North-South Series which follows in Barbados in March.
Lions: Dom Bess (Somerset), Joe Clarke (Worcestershire), Paul Coughlin (Durham/Nottinghamshire), Alex Davies (Lancashire), Ben Duckett (Northamptonshire), George Garton (Sussex), Nick Gubbins (Middlesex), Tom Helm (Middlesex), Keaton Jennings (Durham/Lancashire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Jamie Porter (Essex), Amar Virdi (Surrey), Tom Westley (Essex), Mark Wood (Durham).
November 14 – depart for Australia.
November 15-29 – Brisbane, including three-day match against a Queensland XI at Allan Border Oval from 27-29
November 30 – December 16 – Perth, including T20 matches against Perth Scorchers on 11, 13 and 15
January 31 – March 12 – England Lions tour of West Indies
Four Middlesex youngsters are among eight new faces in an 18-man Young Lions squad that has been selected for the first half of the winter programme which continues after Christmas with the ICC Under-19s World Cup in New Zealand.
Ethan Bamber, Jack Davies, Luke Hollman and Savin Perera have been selected after impressing last summer, three of them for London and East in the Super-4s competition for the country’s outstanding Under-17s.
Glamorgan also contribute two new faces – left-arm spinner Prem Sisodiya and Roman Walker, a fast bowler from Wrexham.
Tom Scriven joins his Hampshire team-mate Felix Organ, and Dillon Pennington joins his fellow Worcestershire fast bowler Adam Finch.
The remaining eight players in the squad were all involved in the summer internationals against India: Tom Banton, Tom Lammonby and Fin Trenouth of Somerset; Warwickshire opener Liam Banks; Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook; Will Jacks of Surrey; and Derbyshire spinner Hamidullah Qadri.
Three seamers who featured for England Under-19s against India - Warwickshire’s Henry Brookes, Ben Allison of Essex and the Durham all-rounder Matt Potts - have been ruled out by injury.
Andy Hurry, the head coach of the Young Lions programme, has been confirmed today as the new director of cricket at Somerset.
David Parsons, the ECB’s Performance Director, said: “Andy has played a key role in the development of our Young Lions programme and the wider Player Pathway since he was appointed head coach of the England Development Programme in September 2014, and on behalf of the ECB and also the many young players who have benefited from his energy and expertise over the last three years, I’d like to thank him for his work – and wish him good luck at Somerset.
“We have already begun the process of finding a replacement in what is a busy and challenging winter for the Young Lions, with a Tri-Series in South Africa before Christmas followed by the ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand early in the New Year.”
Young Lions: Ethan Bamber (Middlesex), Liam Banks (Warwickshire), Tom Banton (Somerset, wk), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Jack Davies (Middlesex, wk), Adam Finch (Worcestershire), Luke Hollman (Middlesex), Will Jacks (Surrey), Tom Lammonby (Somerset), Felix Organ (Hampshire), Dillon Pennington (Worcestershire), Savin Perera (Middlesex), Jack Plom (Essex), Hamidullah Qadri (Derbyshire), Tom Scriven (Hampshire), Prem Sisodiya (Glamorgan), Fin Trenouth (Somerset), Roman Walker (Glamorgan).
November 23 – December 10 – Tri-Series against South Africa and Namibia in Potchefstroom
January 15 – February 3 – ICC Under-19s World Cup (New Zealand)