Mark Footitt picked for pre-Ashes camp
Derbyshire left-arm quick Mark Footitt, has been included in a group of 14 England players who will travel to Spain for a pre-Ashes training camp from June 27. The aim of the camp will be for the players to get acquainted with their new coach Trevor Bayliss.
Allrounder Chris Jordan and legspinner Adil Rashid were the most striking omissions from the training squad released by the ECB on Thursday.
Footitt, 29, was the leading wicket-taker in England's county set-up last season, claiming 106 wickets in all competitions, the most by a Derbyshire bowler for almost half a century.
He had an opportunity to bowl at England's Test captain Alastair Cook in this week's LV= Championship match between Essex and Derbyshire, with the selector and former England seam bowler Angus Fraser in attendance. He did not have a particularly successful match, and some observers felt he was unsettled by Chelmsford's undulating run-ups, but he clearly did enough to warrant a further look.
He told the Derbyshire website: "It's nice to receive this level of recognition for the hard work over the last 18 months. It's a great opportunity for me to show the England coaching staff first-hand what I am about and I hope I can impress and stake my claim for a place in the final Ashes squad. It would be an honour to get a chance to represent my country in the Ashes."
England's Ashes squad will be announced a few days after the players return from the camp, which is being undertaken in preference to the players finding white-ball form in the Championship.
Footitt made his first-class debut in 2005 and has played 65 matches, only latterly coming under serious examination by England with Derbyshire's elite performance director Graeme Welch lobbying fervently on his behalf. He has 230 first-class wickets at an average of 26 but his graph is heading in the right direction and he answers England's hankering for a left-arm option.
He is Derbyshire's top wicket-taker this season - and sixth overall - with 32 scalps at 24 apiece in division two of the County Championship.
England's director of cricket Andrew Strauss explained the reasons for the pre-Ashes camp, which seems to be less physically demanding than the sort of outdoor regimes preferred by a recent director of cricket Andy Flower.
"With Trevor Bayliss arriving in the country next Thursday, Trevor, Alastair and I felt it important that both players and management likely to be involved in the early stages of the Investec Ashes have chance to meet him and fully understand his approach prior to meeting up for the start of the Test series," Strauss said. "With that in mind, we have arranged a preparation camp in Spain. This will involve a combination of physical and fielding sessions and planning meetings in an informal environment in order to provide the best possible lead up to the first Test in Cardiff."
Training squad Alastair Cook, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Mark Footitt, Adam Lyth, Liam Plunkett, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood