England news October 7, 2008

ECB announce Lions itinerary

Cricinfo staff

The ECB has announced a 33-day itinerary for the England Lions tour of New Zealand next February and March.

The Lions, whose squad has yet to be selected, depart for New Zealand on February 14 and, a week later, take on the New Zealand Cricket Emerging Players in a couple of two-day games. The first of two Tests gets underway on March 1, followed by two one-dayers and a Twenty20. They return home on March 20.

"The England Lions squad will comprise a mixture of England's best players of the future together with those currently on the fringes of the senior team," David Parsons, the ECB performance director, said. "In recent years New Zealand have proved to be strong on home soil, particularly in one-day cricket, so this tour presents a good opportunity for those players to test themselves against a quality opposition overseas.

"The squad will play both four-day and one-day cricket during the tour offering those players selected the opportunity to push for a place in the senior team.

"The Lions squad will be selected just before Christmas, so those on the England Performance Programme, due to go to India in November, are in a strong position."