England news February 6, 2014

Moeen, Parry in World Twenty20 squad


England have sprung a surprise in the selection for their squad to tour the Caribbean and then travel to the World Twenty20, including an eye-catching batsman who also bowls capable offspin. Moeen Ali is not quite as box-office a name as Kevin Pietersen but, along with the uncapped Lancashire spinner Stephen Parry, his call-up was indicative of England's desire to begin a new era.

Harry Gurney, the Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer, has also been included an an extra bowler for the West Indies, where England will play three ODIs and three T20s. Otherwise, the group that were crushed 3-0 in Australia has remained largely intact, with Danny Briggs and Boyd Rankin dropped from James Whitaker's first squad as national selector.

Whitaker, who met on Wednesday with Ashley Giles, the limited-overs coach, and former team director Andy Flower to discuss selection, would not be drawn further on Pietersen's exclusion, referring to a "precarious situation in terms of what we can say" and citing legal reasons for the ECB's continued silence.

While Moeen, a former England Under-19s captain, has been tipped to play at international level for some time, Parry's selection will appear straight out of left field to some. However, the 28-year-old has built a solid reputation in limited-overs cricket at Lancashire and has 63 T20 wickets to go with an impressive economy of 6.86.

England appear to set to enter something of a spin cycle, after the retirement of Graeme Swann, and Parry could become the fifth slow bowler tried in a matter of weeks. Monty Panesar and Scott Borthwick were turned to in the final two Ashes Tests, before James Tredwell and Briggs suffered varying degrees of ignominy during the limited-overs leg of England's dismal tour.

The need to find a reliable spin option is all the more pressing, given the slow pitches expected in Bangladesh for the World T20. Parry has only played six first-class games, with Gary Keedy and then Simon Kerrigan blocking his way at Lancashire, and missed much of last season after breaking his arm in the nets. He spent the winter playing grade cricket in Perth.

"It goes without saying that I was absolutely delighted to have received the call from James Whitaker. I am still in a bit of shock," Parry told the Manchester Evening News. "It's always an ambition to play for your country and being in the squad brings that dream a step closer to reality."

Moeen, an elegant, wristy batsman who is currently on tour with the England Lions in Sri Lanka, has experience of T20 in Bangladesh conditions, having previously played in the BPL. In 2013, he scored more than 2000 runs and took 55 wickets in all formats. The fact that he can also bowl the doosra, after instruction from Saeed Ajmal at Worcestershire, will be mentioned in dispatches, though he has so far been reluctant to use it and may stick to more orthodox skills if given a chance.

"Both Moeen and Stephen have been very consistent performers for Worcestershire and Lancashire and both counties and their coaching staffs, must take credit for their continued progress," Whitaker said. "This group has an exciting mix of youth and Twenty20 experience and I am sure with good preparation, desire and determination they will be able to produce an exciting brand of cricket."

Moeen's first senior call-up provides Giles with another top-order option as he prepares for an extended chance to work with his first-choice squad - minus the disbarred Pietersen - and attempts to press his case for the vacant England team director role.

Giles, who with Alastair Cook and Paul Downton formed the triumvirate that decided Pietersen's future, may have been left questioning the wisdom of that decision when discussions turned to the Caribbean tour and the subsequent World Twenty20.

The preference of Stuart Broad, the T20 captain, is unknown, though he will have been consulted during Downton's review of the Ashes debacle. Broad, who has an official deputy in Eoin Morgan, will also captain in the West Indies ODIs, with Cook rested.

Whitaker, Giles and Flower, who remains a selector for the time being, will have considered that their top three in Australia scored just 88 runs between them in eight innings. Michael Lumb, Alex Hales and Luke Wright have performed well for England in the past - Lumb and Wright were part of England's 2010 World Twenty20 win, while Hales was previously the No. 1-ranked batsman in the format - but none has the reputation and intimidatory qualities of Pietersen.

When England lifted their first global limited-overs trophy four years ago, Pietersen was at his exhilarating best, finishing as Man of the Tournament. Now, as in Sri Lanka in 2012, his absence will weigh heavily on those England have chosen in his stead.

World Twenty20 squad: Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire, captain), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, vice-captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Michael Lumb (Nottinghamshire), Stephen Parry (Lancashire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Tredwell (Kent), Luke Wright (Sussex).

England squad to tour the Caribbean: Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire, captain), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, vice-captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Harry Gurney Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Michael Lumb (Nottinghamshire), Stephen Parry (Lancashire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Tredwell (Kent), Luke Wright (Sussex).

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Hashim on February 12, 2014, 14:15 GMT

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha England cant win with that squad. They need Anderson as a main fast bowler, and why selected Dernbach:(. Very very shameful for england because they also drop Kevin Pietersen:(. I think that england is gonna lose the t20 world cup very badly. The other teams like australia, Pakistan, south africa, new zealand and sri lanka they had big names in the squad, but india and england selected so many young players? India and england out of world t20 2014.

  • James on February 10, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    Dernbach LOL. Might have to watch these games now. Will be good for a laugh.

  • Jeff on February 8, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    The biggest problem with the England T20 setup is none of the players play the format. India skew thier international commitments to ensure every single player has 100% availibility for the IPL. Australia do likewise for the BBL, in fact most countries do for thier domestic league. However in England things are different. A couple of seasons ago I went down to watch Yorkshire play Durham in the T20, hoping to see star players like Bresnan and Bairstow - however I was informed these two would not be playing as they were 'playing for England'. Cant we come up with a schedule that ensures every single player has 100% availibility in our own T20 league? Its not like ODIs and Tests, where an England player plays 35 days of Test and 12 days of ODI cricket a summer - they only get around 4 T20s. Or why not have a mini tournament every year England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland and other local teams, 3 games per day and get a solid two weeks in where each team has a match every day?

  • Paulo on February 8, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    @JG2704 agree Stokes' performances have been overstated. He is a bits-and pieces player. Has stood out because the rest of the palyers have been so poor.

    On Woakes, his first class stats are marginally better than Stokes I think. He is also referred to as a "green-top bowler", but he plays at Edgbaston, which is known to be a seamer's graveyard. His batting has improved nicely, perhaps at the expense of his bowling. But he could still merit a place as a batsman, who bowls a few handy overs with decent control? Also if Stokes needs a rest, what's wrong with trying another young allrounder such as Woakes/Borthwick. It's always useful to know your back-ups

  • John on February 8, 2014, 10:36 GMT

    @CodandChips on (February 6, 2014, 19:38 GMT) Re Stokes - I wonder if we're getting a little carried away here? I wonder if he was outstanding - more because the rest of the team (bar Broad) were so poor?

    Don't get me wrong , there's still much to like about him and maybe he'll develop into the man for all 3 formats but I slightly worry about burnout/injury etc and he's not doing well enough in the SFs to warrant this risk. His T20/ODI batting SRs are 142/73 which equates at scoring at roughly 8.5 and 4.4. His ERs as a bowler are 10.3 and 5.7 so that's a 1.8 in T20s and 1.3 in ODIs difference in RPO. Ideally you want an all rounder's ER to be that much better , not that much worse.

    Before the squad was announced for the Ashes I wanted Woakes in ahead of Stokes but Stokes is now the man in possession and I dont see room for both of them. Not sure Woakes can do it in SFs either

  • John on February 7, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    @shewal on (February 7, 2014, 16:32 GMT) There's time for him to come back into the side. No one's writing his career off because he's not in these shorter formats squads. From our recent years sides Strauss,Bell,Prior and Jimmy all had one less successful stint in the side before they were recalled and Swann's ODI debut was nearly 9 years before his test debut. England should select players based on their performances and not just pick players because they've switched their allegiance. Also he probably wouldn't have played one tes had he stuck with Ireland

  • Nalin on February 7, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    So.. Rankin finally became a "Former Test Player"... was it worth leaving Ireland now? 1 Test for England vs Multiple Int'l ODIs/ T20 for Ireland...

  • Ramesh on February 7, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    Jade Dernbach??? Again??? Unbelievable!!! I can hear batters from other teams saying..."here comes 4 powerplay overs"

  • Sachit on February 7, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    Moeen Ali looks like Hashim Amla's far cousin. I hope he matches Amla in talent also.

  • subhasish on February 7, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    i do not think england have any chance to win t20 world cup

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