Quicks dominate in England development squad

Published: Saturday, May 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England's growing pace bowling resources were in evidence as seven seamers were included in their 25-man development squad.

All the squad will come under the control of England coach Duncan Fletcher for the rest of the year in a bid to make sure the team travel to Australia in November in as good as shape as possible for the defence of the Ashes.

The 12 players who are presently on England central contracts were all included, which meant places for the Ashes-winning pace quartet of Stephen Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones not to mention injured captain Michael Vaughan.

But they were joined by the likes of Lancashire's Sajid Mahmood, who made a promising Test debut in the drawn series opener against Sri Lanka at Lord's concluded Monday and well-regarded Leicestershire quick Stuart Broad, the son of former England opening batsman Chris.

James Anderson was also selected after performing well with both Test and one-day teams during England's off-season tour of India - a boost for the Lancashire swing bowler as he continues his recovery from a back strain.

However, there was no place for off-spinner Shaun Udal. The 37-year-old Hampshire veteran, who took four wickets in England's series levelling Test victory against India just over a month ago, was the only player to have featured for England in Test cricket during the last six months who missed out.

But left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who also made his name in Test cricket on the India tour, was included after playing as the lone slow bowler against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

Ashley Giles, England's regular first-choice spinner in recent seasons, was also included despite currently being sidelined with hip and hernia problems.

Five members of the A squad who toured the West Indies were also selected - Surrey all-rounder Rikki Clarke, Middlesex batsman Ed Joyce, Broad, Gloucestershire seamer Jon Lewis and Nottinghamshire wicket-keeper Chris Read.

"The development squad enables the England coach working with his support staff and the National Academy staff to monitor the development of international players more closely and better prepare them for the demands of the international game," said England's chairman of selectors, David Graveney.

"All the selectors are unanimous that the Development Squad must not be viewed as a 'closed shop' and players outside of the squad whose form merits the attention of the selectors will continue to be considered for England in the usual way."

Other players chosen include Somerset all-rounder Ian Blackwell, who made his Test debut against India in Nagpur, Warwickshire off-spinner Alex Loudon and Middlesex batsman Owais Shah.

England development squad:

Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire), James Anderson (Lancashire) Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ian Blackwell (Somerset), Stuart Broad (Leicestershire), Rikki Clarke (Surrey), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire), Ashley Giles (Warwickshire), Stephen Harmison (Durham), Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire), Geraint Jones (Kent, wkt), Simon Jones (Glamorgan), Ed Joyce (Middlesex), Jon Lewis (Gloucestershire), Alex Loudon (Warwickshire), Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Chris Read (Nottinghamshire/wkt), Owais Shah (Middlesex), Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), Marcus Trescothick (Somerset)

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