Five new faces in EPS
Five new faces have been named in the 26-man England Performance squad for 2012. Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Danny Briggs, Stuart Meaker and Ben Stokes are all included for the first time. But there is no room for James Taylor, Chris Woakes or Boyd Rankin.
The EPS, which is chosen by the England selectors, consists of the 13 centrally contracted players, four players who have been awarded increment contracts and nine other players all of whom have been capped at senior international level. While the selectors are not obliged to pick only from members of the EPS and can add to it at any stage, the days when they sprung surprises are all but over. The squad provides a clear illustration of the players expected to represent England this summer.
ECB National Selector Geoff Miller said: "We welcome the five new players to the squad and their inclusion reflects the progress they have all made with senior England teams and the England Lions over the last 12 months.
"The England Performance Squad is designed to allow the selectors to monitor the development of international players and better prepare them for the demands of the international game.
"We can name a total of 30 players in the EPS squad but have decided to name only 26 at this early stage of the season. We will keep this under review and may add additional players to the squad should individual performances merit it later in the summer."
England Performance Squad 2012
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), Alastair Cook (Essex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Danny Briggs (Hampshire), Jos Buttler (Somerset), Steven Davies (Surrey), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Stuart Meaker (Surrey), Graham Onions (Durham), Monty Panesar (Sussex), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Matt Prior (Sussex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Tremlett (Surrey), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)