Rayner called up to Lions squad
Ollie Rayner, the Middlesex spinner, has been officially added to the England Lions touring party, with Simon Kerrigan unable to travel to Sri Lanka due to a back injury. Kerrigan will be monitored over the coming week to see if he is able to join the squad later on.
Rayner, 28, has never represented England before at any level but enjoyed a successful 2013, taking 46 wickets at 22.04, including a 15-wicket haul against Surrey - the best figures by a Middlesex bowler since 1955. A tall offspinner, Rayner is also a capable batsman, with two first-class hundreds to his name.
Kerrigan's participation has been in doubt after he suffered a back injury at a pre-tour preparation camp earlier in the month. The Lancashire left-arm spinner made his Test debut against Australia at The Oval last year but bowled only eight overs, at a cost of 53 runs, and subsequently pulled out of the Performance Programme tour of Australia to work with coaches at Old Trafford and Loughborough.
David Parsons, the ECB's performance director, said: "Simon has progressed very well over the past week and we remain hopeful that he will be able to join up with the tour party later in the tour following an assessment from the medical staff at Old Trafford next week."
The Lions depart England on Sunday for a tour featuring three unofficial Tests against Sri Lanka A, as well as two three-day matches in Colombo. The four-day matches are scheduled for Kandy, Dambulla and Colombo, with the first beginning on February 12.