England Pick Panesar And Tremlett In Ashes Squad
Surrey fast bowler Chris Tremlett and Sussex left-arm spinner Monty Panesar have earned recalls as England named their 16-man squad to defend the Ashes later this year in Australia.
The only uncapped member of the touring party is reserve wicket-keeper Steven Davies, who like Tremlett and Panesar, has enjoyed a fine 2010 season. Tremlett's recall means there is no place in the squad for Yorkshire quick Ajmal Shahzad, who has been named in the Performance Programme squad which is also touring Australia.
Similarly, Panesar's return means that James Tredwell misses out and will travel with the Performance squad while highly-rated Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid misses out altogether, as does Ravi Bopara, who played three Tests in the 2009 series, which England won 2-1.
Following a move to Sussex from Northamptonshire, Panesar took 52 wickets in first-class cricket while Tremlett also benefitted from a move - from Hampshire to Surrey - where he impressed by taking 48 wickets.
The England selectors have also handed central contracts to Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn and Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott for the first time - both men also being named in the Ashes squad.
Other players to have been rewarded for good domestic seasons with a call up to the Performance squad include Somerset's James Hildreth, Hampshire's Jimmy Adams and Yorkshire pair Adam Lyth and Andrew Gale.
“We believe we’ve selected an outstanding Test squad for what will be a fiercely contested Ashes series in Australia. In order to retain the Ashes we will need to play to a very high level and we believe we’ve selected a squad to do just that.
“Clearly there are always difficult decisions to make when selecting an England squad and this Ashes squad was no different. We feel that Chris Tremlett’s inclusion will add a real threat of pace and bounce to our bowling attack given the conditions in Australia. Chris will be vying for a place in the final team amongst a confident attack including James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn," national selector Geoff Miller said.
“We feel that following an excellent season with Sussex Monty Panesar deserves his opportunity to assume the role as England’s second spinner behind Graeme Swann. Monty has gone away and worked on his bowling since his last England appearance and he continues to be an attacking threat with the ball in his hand.
“In terms of the second wicketkeeper’s role behind Matt Prior, Steven Davies has shown what he is capable of with Surrey and England this year, his glovework and batting have continued to reach new levels.
“There is real competition for places in terms of the batsmen with a number of excellent candidates vying for selection for the first Test. Each batsman brings something different to the squad but all posses the ability to significantly contribute to a winning England team.
England captain Andrew Strauss added: “I am excited by the Test squad we have selected for the upcoming Ashes series as I firmly believe we have a number of match winners across all areas of the squad.
“It’s exciting to have the Ashes as our sole focus from this point on and I know every member of this Ashes squad will be relishing the challenge of retaining the Ashes in Australia.
“To captain England in an Ashes series Down Under is a huge honour and something I am looking forward to with enormous anticipation. We realise the challenge ahead of us in Australia but it is a test we welcome and look forward to meeting head on.”
England begin their campaign with warm-up matches against Western Australia, South Australia and Australia A prior to the opening Test in Brisbane which starts on 25th November.
The Performance Programme squad plays matches against a Queensland XI and a Western Australia XI.
England Test squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook (vice-captain), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Steven Davies, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Prior, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, Jonathan Trott
England Performance Programme squad: Jimmy Adams, Jonny Bairstow, Danny Briggs, Michael Carberry, Maurice Chambers, Jade Dernbach, Andrew Gale, James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter, Adam Lyth, Liam Plunkett, Ajmal Shahzad, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes
England centrally-contracted players list 2010-11: Andrew Strauss, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Prior, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott
England incrementally-contracted players list 2010-11: Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Eoin Morgan, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy
© Cricket World 2010