Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley will head to Australia after the conclusion of England’s Test series in South Africa after being selected in the four-day England Lions squad. Keaton Jennings, who has been tipped for a Test recall for Sri Lanka, is also included on the tour, which will encompass five 50-over matches and three four-day games.
Saqib Mahmood, who was last week selected for the ODI squad in South Africa, is also in the four-day squad, along with a couple of candidates to strengthen England’s spinning options in Sri Lanka, in Dominic Bess and Amar Virdi. Kent wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson wins his maiden call-up.
In the one-day squad, legspinner Mason Crane will get the opportunity to press his white-ball credentials, while there is a first call for Somerset captain Tom Abell, alongside three of his 2019 Royal London Cup-winning team-mates Bess, Lewis Gregory and Craig Overton.
“We’ve selected two exciting squads for our Lions’ tour of Australia, where the aim is not only to win matches but to prepare players for international cricket,” ECB national selector, Ed Smith, said.
“With this tour we’ve got England’s short-term needs in mind, with the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka and a busy summer schedule, as well as an opportunity to provide players with relevant experience for future Ashes series. Australia is a tough place to tour as an England player at any level, so it will be a great test for all involved.”
Yorkshire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore returns for the first time since being stood down over involvement in a WhatsApp group discussing sexual conquests. Also in line for Lions debuts are Warwickshire fast bowler Henry Brookes, Durham seamer Brydon Carse, Sussex batsman Laurie Evans, Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper Tom Moores and Kent seamer Matt Milnes, all of whom are in the 50-over squad.
ECB performance director Mo Bobat said: “In addition to meeting England’s Test needs, one of our goals is to broaden and strengthen our white-ball talent pool in order to deliver sustained success across both formats. We have some exciting young players travelling in the squad this winter who we believe have what it takes to step up in the future. With several young players selected for the England ODI tour of South Africa, the Lions can provide a developmental opportunity to an extended group of players.
“In selecting our squads, we have given careful consideration to players who have been presented with franchise cricket opportunities and, for some, these competitive experiences are exactly what they need at this stage of their development.
“Our selections have been underpinned by progressive discussions with the counties about each player’s best interest and I’d like to thank the counties for their collaborative approach to informing our decision-making.”
The Lions will depart the UK on January 21, with 50-over matches scheduled against Cricket Australia and New South Wales XIs, followed by four-day fixtures against Australia A, Cricket Australia XI and New South Wales XI.
England Lions 50-over squad: Tom Abell (Somerset), Dom Bess (Somerset), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Henry Brookes (Warwickshire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Laurie Evans (Sussex), Richard Gleeson (Lancashire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Will Jacks (Surrey), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Yorkshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Matt Milnes (Kent), Tom Moores (Nottinghamshire), Craig Overton (Somerset)
England Lions four-day squad: Dom Bess (Somerset), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Richard Gleeson (Lancashire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Sam Northeast (Hampshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Robinson (Kent), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dominic Sibley (Warwickshire), Amar Virdi (Surrey)