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Liam Livingstone called-up in England Test squad for New Zealand tour

Liam Livingstone has played two T20Is for England
Liam Livingstone has played two T20Is for England

England have called-up Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone for the two-match Test series against New Zealand to be played from 22nd March.

The 24-year-old has already played two Twenty20 Internationals for England but is yet to make an appearance in the other two formats. He has an impressive tally of 1950 runs from 31 first-class matches while also snaring 11 wickets.

Also returning to the squad is Durham fast bowler Mark Wood, who last played for England in the longer format in July last year and his progress was stalled by injuries.

Wood made a successful return for Durham in September against Kent and Worcestershire and also featured for a game each for England Lions and also England senior team in the tour game against Cricket Australia XI in the recently concluded Ashes series.

National Selector James Whitaker welcomed the addition of both Livingstone and Wood and is hopeful of them creating an impact.

"Liam has been a player that we have been impressed with for quite some time, having performed well in the county system with Lancashire and over the past couple of years with the England Lions," said Whitaker in a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"He is a very talented and tough cricketer who has the ideal qualities and character to be successful in the test arena.

"After a frustrating period with injuries, Mark is now back to full fitness and is looking forward to being part of our test plans."

All-rounder Ben Stokes has also been included in the squad but his participation will depend on the outcome of the case following his involvement in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September last year.

Meanwhile, the selectors have left out Gary Ballance, Jake Ball and Tom Curran from the squad that recently lost the Ashes series 0-4 in Australia.

“All three players have worked hard on the recent Ashes tour,” Whitaker said.

“Unfortunately, they miss out on selection for New Zealand. They are talented players and I am sure their time will come again.”

The two games Test series will be played between 22nd March and 3rd April with Auckland and Christchurch being the venues.

England squad:

Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

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