England Lions in India 2007-08 January 15, 2008

Foster earns Lions call up

Cricinfo staff

Very appealing: James Foster has the chance to impress with the England Lions in India © Getty Images
The England selectors have named three replacements for the Lions tour of India with James Foster, Charlie Shreck and Steve Kirby being called up after injuries to the Worcestershire pair Steven Davies and Kabir Ali.

Davies has been forced out with a knee injury, opening the door for Foster, while Ali has failed to recover from an ankle problem and the selectors have decided to add an additional name to the squad.

Foster has been pushing for recognition after a string of impressive seasons for Essex. In his last four seasons he has scored 3457 runs at 43 with eight hundreds and David Graveney, the chairman of the selectors, said he had come into consideration when the tour parties were initially named.

Foster's trip to India, where the Lions will play in the Duleep Trophy, will be his first appearance at any England level since the 2002-03 Ashes tour where he filled in for the injured Alec Stewart for the fourth Test in Melbourne. Kirby and Shreck have yet to receive full international honours but enjoyed solid domestic seasons in 2007 with 41 and 47 wickets respectively.

"Since the end of last season I've been heavily involved in my coaching company - James Foster Coaching - so I'd planned my winter around that," Foster told essexcricket.org.uk. "Normally I would have started my training for the new season a bit earlier but with all my coaching I didn't pick up a bat in anger until last Thursday.

"Being involved with the England Lions puts players in the shop window for the full team so it's good to be in there showing what I have to offer," he said. "It's been a long time since I've had some England recognition but I never gave up hope."

The ECB also confirmed that Andrew Flintoff won't be joining the trip after earlier speculation that he may travel as a specialist batsman as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery. "He will continue his rehabilitation programme with Lancashire and it is anticipated that he will be available for their pre-season tours of India and Dubai," said the ECB.

Kirby and Foster will be joining the squad this week at their training camp in Loughborough. The Lions are due to fly to Mumbai on January 23 and Shreck will join them from New Zealand where he is currently playing for Wellington.

"It was a surprise to get the call, to say the least," said Shreck. "I hadn't even been looking at the news to see when the Lions were touring, I was just concentrating on my cricket with Wellington."

Revised squad Michael Yardy (capt), Michael Carberry, Joe Denly, James Foster, James Hildreth, Ed Joyce, Steve Kirby, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Alan Richardson, Charlie Shreck, Jonathan Trott