Jason Roy's hopes of adding a maiden Test cap to his status as an England one-day regular have received a boost after he was named in the England Lions squad for their four-day Test against Pakistan A in November.
Roy, who made a second-innings century after coming in at No.3 for Surrey against Essex in their final County Championship fixture of the season at The Oval, has been named in a 15-man squad that also includes Kent captain, Sam Billings.
With a shortage of designated opening batsmen in the party, it is possible that Roy will be asked to reprise his one-day role alongside Middlesex's Nick Gubbins, another player who has been mentioned in Test dispatches in recent seasons.
England's selectors have been struggling for several years now to find a long-term replacement for Andrew Strauss at the top of the order, and are now tasked with replacing the country's all-time leading run-scorer, Alastair Cook, too.
With Roy's Surrey team-mate Rory Burns joining Joe Denly and the under-pressure Keaton Jennings on the Sri Lanka tour, a decent showing in the UAE could open up the possibility of a berth on the West Indies Test tour in January.
Billings, who has impressed as a leader in guiding Kent back into the top flight of the County Championship, is the senior name in a young batting line-up featuring the likes of Joe Clarke, who last week completed his move from Worcestershire to Nottinghamshire, and Liam Livingstone, who featured in the Test squad back in March when he was called up for the New Zealand tour.
The squad's slow bowlers are Dom Bess, who impressed with his attitude in the Test series against Pakistan after being called up as an injury replacement for his Somerset team-mate, Jack Leach, as well as the young Surrey offspinner Amar Virdi and Lancashire's legspinner Matt Parkinson.
Jamie Overton joins his twin brother Craig in the fast-bowling ranks, after being overlooked for the Test squad in favour of Warwickshire's Olly Stone, while Mark Wood is also included as he seeks to restate his first-class credentials after falling out of favour this summer.
Josh Tongue has been named subject to medical clearance, after picking up an injury during Worcestershire's season finale against Yorkshire.
Billings, Roy, Tongue and Virdi will leave the tour ahead of the white-ball leg, consists of five unofficial ODIs and two T20s. They will be replaced by Alex Davies, Lewis Gregory, Sam Hain and the hugely promising fast bowler Saqib Mahmood, who is back in contention despite this week's outing for Lancashire against Hampshire being his first first-team appearance since April.