ASHES TOUR SELECTION
England Selectors have added Steven Finn to the squad for the Ashes Tests, in light of the on-going investigation by Avon & Somerset Police, the Cricket Discipline Commission process and all other considerations.
Finn will travel to Australia with the England Test team for the full five-match Ashes series, leaving on Saturday 28 October. Ben Stokes will not travel at this stage, though no final decision has been taken on his involvement in Australia.
England’s One-Day International series against Australia starts on 14 January and will be followed by a triangular T20 tournament with Australia and New Zealand from 3 February. White-ball players are due to meet up from 4 January. This squad is yet to be finalised and will be announced in due course, before the end of November.
ECB has today confirmed the award of Central Contracts for Test and White Ball cricket. Selectors have awarded eight Test contracts and 14 White Ball contracts.
Jake Ball receives a White Ball contract for the first time, having previously received an incremental deal, whilst Toby Roland-Jones receives his first Incremental contract.
The Centrally Contracted players for 2017-18 are:
ODI / T20
As announced last week, Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be considered for England selection until further notice.
During the recent One-Day International series against West Indies, Andrew Strauss, Director of England Cricket, started an internal disciplinary investigation into behaviour within the One-Day squad.
Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball and Liam Plunkett have each accepted a formal written warning and fine for unprofessional conduct – unrelated to the investigations into Ben Stokes and Alex Hales - with undisclosed sums paid equally to the PCA Benevolent Fund and the Hornsby Professional Cricketers’ Fund. The internal investigation and process for this matter has now concluded and no further comment will be made.
As previously announced, alleged breaches of ECB directives and regulations by Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will be considered by the Cricket Discipline Commission, within their independent process.
COMMENT: DIRECTOR OF ENGLAND CRICKET
Confirming the details, Director of England Cricket, Andrew Strauss said:
“With the Ashes just around the corner, it’s important to give the players, the coaching staff and supporters some clarity around a complex situation.
“This decision will help us in the weeks ahead and give every player and the whole England set-up the best chance to focus on the challenge ahead in Australia.
“Steven is a high-quality cricketer, with considerable experience of both international cricket and Australian conditions. The Selectors believe he will add to the range of options and the squad will be further supported by the arrival of the Lions in Australia in November.”
“We have spoken to Ben and assured him that our decision in no way prejudges the outcome of the ongoing Police investigation or Cricket Discipline Commission process, as can be seen by the award of Central Contracts.
“On these, I would like to congratulate all of those who have received England contracts for 2017/18, ahead of a busy year of International cricket.”