England have named three uncapped players in their squad for the upcoming matches against New Zealand and South Africa and handed batsman Robert Key a recall three years after his last international appearance.
The 26-man Performance Squad automatically includes the 12 players currently on 12-month England contracts, so there was never any question of either Steve Harmison or Matthew Hoggard being left out, despite the two bowlers having been dropped from the Test side during England's recent series win in New Zealand.
The uncapped players included are Michael Carberry, Adil Rashid and James Tredwell. Kent opener Key last played for his country on the tour of South Africa in 2004-05.
England selector Geoff Miller said the squad had been deliberately limited to 26 players to allow room for inclusion of individuals who stake a claim early in the domestic county season.
Miller said: "The selectors can name up to 30 players in the EPS, but we have decided to keep four places vacant at present in order to give ourselves greater flexibility and we will reserve the right to add further players to the squad if their performances in domestic cricket merit it."
England Performance Squad 2008: Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire), James Anderson( Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire), Stephen Harmison (Durham), Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire), Robert Key (Kent), Dimitri Mascarenhas (Hampshire), Philip Mustard (Durham), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matthew Prior (Sussex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Owais Shah (Middlesex), Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Tremlett (Hampshire), Michael Vaughan(Yorkshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).