England selectors have announced a 16-man squad for the five-match ODI series versus Australia starting in January.
Kent batsman Sam Billings and Durham seamer Mark Wood are added to the squad that defeated West Indies (4-0) in England at the end of the summer. The first ODI will be at the MCG on Sunday January 14.
Selectors were given clear guidance to name their strongest squad and have made their selections accordingly. Both Alex Hales and Ben Stokes are included, though their involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to the incident in Bristol in September.
England 16-man squad versus Australia, Gillette ODI Series
The ECB Board has agreed that Alex Hales is available for team selection at this stage. This follows Police confirmation that he will face no charges and the independent Cricket Discipline Commission staying its disciplinary process.
Should the ECB Board receive formal confirmation that Ben Stokes has either been charged or that he will face no charges, they would convene within 48 hours to make a decision on his availability for the team at that stage.
“The forthcoming series against Australia presents another significant opportunity for this group to showcase their skills and talent against a quality side away from home.
“The core group of the squad have been involved at this level for at least the past two years and that consistency of selection has enabled us to build a cohesive squad that is playing some entertaining and winning cricket.
“I would like to wish captain Eoin Morgan, head coach Trevor Bayliss and the players every success during the series.”
Schedule - Gillette ODI Series against Australia
1st ODI - Sunday 14 January, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne (2.20pm local time)
2nd ODI - Friday 19 January, Gabba, Brisbane (1.20pm local time)
3rd ODI - Sunday 21 January, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (2.20pm local time)
4th ODI - Friday 26 January, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (1.50pm local time)
5th ODI - Sunday 28 January, Optus Stadium, Perth (11.20am local time)
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