England Lions news June 21, 2010

Cook to captain Lions in triangular

Cricinfo staff

While the national one-day side wages a pre-Ashes battle against Australia, Alastair Cook will captain a 12-man England Lions squad in a triangular one-day series against A sides from India and West Indies between June 28 and July 8. The side is a strong one, featuring seven England-capped players including Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Sajid Mahmood and Liam Plunkett.

The rest of the squad, apart from Darren Stevens, have featured in Lions line-ups in the past. His call-up comes after a prosperous start to the county season with Kent, for whom he is currently leading run-scorer in the county championship with 774 runs at 70.36, including four hundreds, and in the Friends Provident t20 competition, with 212 runs in seven innings at a strike-rate of 142.28. He has also scored at a rate of 111.84 in the CB40 League, and taken 17 wickets so far across the three formats.

"This is well deserved for Darren because he is a quality player," said Robert Key, Stevens' captain at Kent. "Hopefully a place in the Lions squad will be a quick stepping stone for him because I feel he deserves to be in the full England side."

"We are pleased to welcome Darren Stevens to the squad who has been rewarded for his impressive form with Kent this season," said National Selector Geoff Miller. "This triangular series presents the England Lions squad with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in the one-day format and challenge for a place in the senior side.

"Alastair Cook will have an opportunity to gain further experience as captain after successful spells as captain with both England and England Lions and he will lead a side that includes six of the squad members involved in the one-day series against Pakistan A in February."

With England facing a busy summer schedule and the county season in full swing, Miller also suggested that there was the possibility of squad members maintaining their county commitments, and of national players in need of some time in the middle coming in to the side.

"We have selected a strong squad for what will be a challenging series. There is scope for non-playing Lions squad members to return to their counties for fixtures when appropriate and we will also consider using non-playing members of the England one-day squad throughout the Lions series to give them match practice."

England Lions squad: Alastair Cook (capt), Ravi Bopara, Steven Davies (wk), Andrew Gale, Sajid Mahmood, Liam Plunkett, Darren Stevens, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Peter Trego, Jonathan Trott, Chris Woakes

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  • Dummy4 on June 28, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    Apart from Woakes, none of the bowlers look like International players based on both past and present form. Good on Stevens for getting a go because he has been in tremendous form this season. Still have no idea why England plan to groom Cook to take over from Strauss. Cook is a limited player and is not suited to the shorter game.

  • Dummy4 on June 23, 2010, 14:55 GMT

    Can't believe the Stevens selection - Lyth would have been a far better pick.

  • Dan on June 22, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    I'm all for Stevens getting a call, age should not matter, at the moment he is one of the best batsman in the country, so on form alone, he deserves it.

  • Ian on June 22, 2010, 7:50 GMT

    Why are players who are already established and abilities well known being selected surely the opportunity to look at the emerging talent should be taken.

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2010, 23:25 GMT

    Surely Adam Lyth would of been a better selection instead of 34-yr-old Stevens.

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    what no Adil Rashid,he bowls 3 overs in SA and then is never seen again well done Geoff Miller!!!!

  • Steve on June 21, 2010, 18:04 GMT

    Stevens is a pointless call-up. At 34, is he realistically going to get an international call-up? No. Absolutely ridiculous not to give a chance to someone like Hales, Stokes or Lyth.

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    Well done Geoff Miller for picking Stevens on the basis of form. Nice to see a former Bromley CC player involved in the national setup...

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Sorry but Stevens is 34, hardly likely to forge an ODI career with England. Is the cupboard really this bare? Disappointing not to see James Adams, Ian Blackwell or Adil Rashid in this list. Mahmood and Plunkett are also fairly profligate. Strength in depth? I don't think so.

  • Michael on June 21, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    I keep on seeing Plunkett and Mahmood in these lists which suggests that one day they will play for the full side,yet they are leapfrogged over time and time again. If they are not really in line for England duty then why play them here? Trego might have the panache at county level but does he really have it for internationals? And why is there not one of the young leggies included here? We suddenly seem to have a few, and they all look okay. Otherwise looks okay as side.

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