Congratulations to both Nick Gubbins and Tom Helm, who were today announced in the England Lions squad to face South Africa A later this month.
Somerset and Surrey each have three players in the 13-man England Lions squad that has been selected for the four-day fixture at Kent's St. Lawrence Ground.
Jack Leach, who played in the Lions’ last four-day game against Sri Lanka A in Dambulla in February, is joined by his Somerset team-mates Jamie Overton, returning to the Lions for the first time since the winter of 2015-16, and teenage off-spinner Dominic Bess.
Surrey’s trio of representatives are wicketkeeper Ben Foakes and all-rounder Sam Curran, who both toured Sri Lanka with the Lions last winter and played in the recent Royal London One-Day Series against South Africa A, plus Mark Stoneman – the 29-year-old opener who moved south from Durham last autumn, and joins Bess as the only two members of the squad not to have played previously for the Lions.
Bess is one of five players aged 20 or younger who have represented England at Under-19 level inside the last two years – with Curran, Lancashire opener Haseeb Hameed, Essex batsman Dan Lawrence and Sussex fast bowler George Garton.
Lawrence is joined by his Essex team-mate Jamie Porter, the pair having made brief Lions debuts in the rain-ruined third game of the Royal London series against South Africa in Northampton last week.
Bess and Lawrence spent last winter in Australia on ECB Overseas Placements, while Garton, Porter and Overton travelled to South Africa on the Pace Programme.
Durham’s Keaton Jennings continues as captain, after leading the Lions in both the four-day and one-day series in Sri Lanka, and the Middlesex pair of Nick Gubbins and Tom Helm lift to seven the number of players who were involved in last winter’s Lions programme.
A separate Lions squad will be named next week for a three-day match against the senior South Africa tourists in Worcester starting on June 29.
James Whitaker, the National Selector, said: “We have had to delay naming that squad because the game clashes with the Royal London One-Day Cup final, and we will not consider players from the counties who qualify for Lord’s.
“There were other considerations in selecting this squad – as ever, we were mindful of counties who have important fixtures in the Specsavers County Championship, while four members of the Lions squad who won the Royal London One-Day Series against South Africa A were unavailable after being selected for the full England squad for the NatWest T20 internationals against South Africa.
“That is a good message for all these Lions players, showing them the opportunity they now have to impress. It’s good to see a number of players in this squad who have come through the England Under-19s environment, and started to make an impact in county cricket. The Lions is another step up for them, and there is a balance with some more experienced players which we believe creates an exciting squad.”
England Lions (versus South Africa A, Canterbury, June 21-24)
Keaton Jennings (Durham, capt)
Mark Stoneman (Surrey)
Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire)
Nick Gubbins (Middlesex)
Dan Lawrence (Essex)
Ben Foakes (Surrey, wk)
Sam Curran (Surrey)
Jamie Overton (Somerset)
Tom Helm (Middlesex)
Jamie Porter (Essex)
George Garton (Sussex)
Jack Leach (Somerset)
Dominic Bess (Somerset)