Jake Ball, James Vince earn maiden England Test call ups
With 19 wickets for Nottinghamshire in the ongoing County Championship, Ball is currently the joint highest leading wicket-taker in Division One.
On the other hand, Vince, who made his international debut for England in 2015, impressed the selectors by securing the player of the series award in his maiden Twenty20 International series against Pakistan last year.
From four games for Hampshire in the 2016 County Championship, Vince has 275 runs at an average of 39.28 including a century against a strong Yorkshire attack in April
National selector James Whitaker has reposed his confidence in Ball and Vince and said that the pair richly deserve their place in the national Test squad.
“Both Jake Ball and James Vince thoroughly deserve their opportunity having performed well with the England Lions and starting the season in good form with their respective counties.
“Building on his success with the Lions in the winter, Jake has impressed with the ball and shown excellent control and skill in the opening matches of the County Championship.
“If selected, we are confident he will perform very well at international level.
“James has been a consistent performer for Hampshire and England Lions over the past few years.
“He is already well regarded by the England coaches in the short format and now has the opportunity to showcase his skills at Test level.”
Whitaker is also confident of a closely contested series against Sri Lanka and has wished Alastair Cook and his team the best for the campaign.
“Sri Lanka are a young side and we expect a strong series between the two teams to start the summer of international cricket.
“The selectors would like to take this opportunity to wish Alastair Cook, Trevor Bayliss and the rest of the squad the best of luck for the series.”
Meanwhile, Nick Compton and Alex Hales have also retained their place in the squad while Jonny Bairstow has been picked as the wicket-keeper for the Test.
James Anderson will lead the pace bowling attack alongside Stuart Broad, Steve Finn and Ball while Adil Rashid is the specialist spinner in the side.
The England selectors have also named a 30-man performance squad for the 2016 summer season which includes the 22 central and incrementally contracted players and eight cricketers from the county system.
Director of England Cricket Andrew Strauss reasoned that the performance squad was picked to enable the selectors to monitor the players who are on the radar of the board.
“This is the first time in two seasons we have selected an England Performance Squad.
“I feel that it is important that we do so to enable our staff to monitor effectively those players who are on our radar, but not necessarily part of one of the England teams.
“It is also important to point out that it does not confine the selectors to pick from this squad.”
Despite scoring 254 runs from four innings at an average of 63.50 for Warwickshire in the County Championship, senior batsman Ian Bell has been overlooked for the first Test.
England squad for first Test against Sri Lanka:
Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Vince
England 30-man performance squad:
Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Sam Billings, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Nick Compton, Alastair Cook, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Steven Finn, Mark Footitt, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Jamie Overton, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
© Cricket World 2016