Robert Key to lead England ~~A~~ against Pakistan

Published: Thursday, June 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Test batsman Robert Key was named as captain of the England 'A' team to face Pakistan in a four-day match at the Kent cricketer's Canterbury home ground on July 6.

Key, who led England 'A' to victory against Sri Lanka earlier in the season, will captain a side which includes five other players with Test experience in what will be Pakistan's final tour match before the first of a four-Test series starts at Lord's on July 13.

"This is a strong England A team which we believe will provide Pakistan with tough opposition at the start of their tour and allow the selectors to measure the development of players on the fringe of selection for the full England side," said David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors.

Current Test batsmen Ian Bell and Alastair Cook, Middlesex's Owais Shah, leading swing bowler Matthew Hoggard and wicket-keeper Chris Read are the five other players in the team, apart from Key, who have played cricket for England at the highest level.

"Ian Bell, Alastair Cook and Matthew Hoggard have also been included in the squad as we felt it was important that they should all play a four-day game in the period leading up to the selection of the squad for the first npower Test against Pakistan," Graveney added.

Also included were off-spinners James Dalrymple and Alex Loudon and seamer Tim Bresnan, who have all featured during the ongoing One-day series between England and Sri Lanka.

And promising Leicestershire pace bowler Stuart Broad, the son of former England opening batsman Chris, made it into the team as well.

England A: Robert Key (Kent, capt), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Leicestershire), Alastair Cook (Essex), James Dalrymple (Middlesex), Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire), Alex Loudon (Warwickshire), Chris Read (Nottinghamshire, wkt), Owais Shah (Middlesex)

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