The ECB have named a total of twenty two players in an England Lions squad to head to the Caribbean to take on a West Indies-A side in a red-ball and white-ball series in February and March of next year. The squad includes three Middlesex players - Toby Roland-Jones, Nick Gubbins and Tom Helm.
Haseeb Hameed, Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, Mason Crane, Jamie Porter and Toby Roland-Jones have been included in the England Lions squad that will play three four-day matches against West Indies A in Jamaica and Antigua early next year.
They join 10 of the players selected for the Lions training camp in Australia over the last two months.
Curran and Porter have also been selected in a 15-man squad for a three-match one-day series against West Indies A which follows in Antigua, along with three more players who were not involved with the Lions in Australia – Hampshire all-rounder Liam Dawson, Kent batsman Sam Northeast and Lancashire leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson, who is currently in Sydney on an ECB Overseas Placement.
Keaton Jennings will captain the Lions in both the four-day and one-day series.
Two fast bowlers, Worcestershire’s Josh Tongue and Tom Helm of Middlesex, have been selected despite being affected by injury during the Australia camp. Tongue had a cortisone injection in his ankle this week but is expected to be fit for the four-day section of the trip, and Helm has been selected for the one-day leg only after struggling in Australia with the hamstring problem with which he ended the 2017 county season. Tom Westley was unavailable after having surgery on the finger injury he suffered during the Lions camp in Australia
James Whitaker, the National Selector, said: “We have selected a total of 22 players for these two series in the West Indies, to ensure we gain the most value in terms of assessing players in both first-class and one-day cricket.
“Haseeb Hameed, Jamie Porter and Toby Roland-Jones are all available again after injuries - Jamie and Toby after working exceptionally hard on the ECB’s Pace Programme over the last couple of months.
“Sam Curran missed out on the Lions training camp in Australia but he has also been training hard, under the supervision of Surrey’s strength and conditioning coaches, before going out to play T20 cricket in New Zealand.
“We have included two members of the Ashes tour squad, Ben Foakes and Mason Crane, for the four-day matches, with the possibility of either or both of them leaving the Lions tour early if they are selected in the England squad for the two Tests in New Zealand in March and April.
“We will be naming that squad in the New Year, and the same goes for the squads for the North-South Series which will be played in Barbados at the end of the Lions tour – and is likely to include the players who have been selected for the one-day series against West Indies A."
For whole tour: K Jennings (Lancashire, capt), J Clarke (Worcestershire), L Livingstone (Lancashire), S Curran (Surrey), J Porter (Essex), P Coughlin (Nottinghamshire), S Mahmood (Lancashire), N Gubbins (Middlesex), A Davies (Lancashire, wk).
H Hameed (Lancashire), D Lawrence (Essex), B Foakes (Surrey, wk), T Roland-Jones (Middlesex), J Leach (Somerset), M Crane (Hampshire), J Tongue (Worcestershire).
S Northeast (Kent), L Dawson (Hampshire), D Bess (Somerset), T Helm (Middlesex), G Garton (Sussex), M Parkinson (Lancashire).
February 5-7: Tour Match – Sabina Park, Jamaica
February 11-14 – v West Indies A – Trelawny Multiplex, Jamaica
February 18-21 – v West Indies A - Sabina Park, Jamaica
February 26 - March 1 – v West Indies A – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua
March 4: Tour Match – Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua
March 6 – v West Indies A – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
March 9 - v West Indies A – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
March 11 - v West Indies A – Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua
(North-South Series follows in Barbados from March 18-23 – squads to be announced next month)