LONDON: Uncapped batters Harry Brook and Will Jacks will hope to impress after being named Friday in a 13-strong England Lions squad for the national A side’s tour match against South Africa next week.
The four-day game at Canterbury will act as a warm-up for the Proteas ahead of the first Test against England at Lord’s starting on August 17.
Brook has been involved in senior England squads this season but the Yorkshireman has yet to make his full international red-ball debut for a team that have so far won all four of their Tests under a new management duo of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
The 23-year-old Brook had already been included in England’s squad for the first two matches of a three-Test series against the Proteas.
Jacks, also 23, has helped Surrey climb to the top of the first-class County Championship table and, in an indication of his aggressive shot-making, went from 100 to 150 against Essex in just 16 balls.
There is a surprise call-up as well for Somerset’s 18 year-old wicketkeeper-batsman James Rew after just four first-class matches.
Rew, who made his debut last summer, missed the early part of the season as he was taking his A-Level school leaving exams. He came into the Somerset first team last month, hitting his maiden first-class century in the draw against Essex at Chelmsford.
Rew is unlikely to get into the side as a wicket-keeper as Sam Billings will captain the Lions on his Kent home ground.
England had previously confirmed that Ollie Robinson, recalled into the Test squad, would play for the Lions as the Sussex paceman bids to prove his fitness following a series of injuries that have prevented him from adding to a tally of nine caps since he faced Australia at Hobart in January.
England assistant coach Paul Collingwood will take charge of the Lions, with players leaving their Hundred and One-Day Cup squads in order to play in the representative fixture starting on August 9.
“The squad strongly represents some of the country’s current, next best and future England players,” said England and Wales Cricket Board performance director Mo Bobat.
“For some players, this game will be important preparation going into the Test series.”
England Lions squad: Sam Billings (captain/wicket-keeper), Harry Brook, Sam Cook, Sam Conners, Ben Duckett, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Craig Overton, Liam Patterson-White, James Rew, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley.
Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2022