For a winter training camp in the United Arab Emirates next month, the England Lions have a squad strong on spin, according to the ECB. For the first time, ten players were selected into the second-tier setup.
Eight spinners have been chosen for the January five-match series between India and the England men’s Test team. These include Josh De Caires, an offspinner from Middlesex who earned his maiden call-up to the Lions after taking 27 Division One wickets at a pace of 25.59, and Rehan Ahmed of Leicestershire, who made his Test debut against Pakistan last winter.
Other noteworthy names on the roster include Somerset’s James Rew, who won PCA Young Player of the Year after hitting five hundreds in 1086 runs, and Surrey’s Tom Lawes, who helped the latter win the County Championship with 30 dismissals. The camp, which takes place from November 16 to December 7, will also feature international captained fast bowlers Matthew Fisher, Matthew Potts, Josh Tongue, and Brydon Carse.
The three weeks are intended to both assess the depth of England’s pipeline and to honor performances from the previous season. The players that have been chosen are considered “high potential players” and their primary objective will be to enhance their red-ball skills. This will help them meet England’s future needs in front of their tour of the subcontinent in early 2024. Two such players who might be considered for the Test tour are Jack Carson of Sussex and Tom Hartley of Lancashire, who bowl offbreak and left-arm orthodox, respectively. During the most recent ODI series with Ireland, Hartley made his debut for England, and Carson finished the season with 31 wickets.
Given the paucity of options after Moeen Ali retired from Test cricket at the end of the Ashes series and Adil Rashid’s exclusive focus on white-ball cricket, the short-term emphasis on spinners is critical. Jack Leach, the lead spinner, is still recovering from a stress fracture to his back that he suffered at the beginning of the summer.
After consultation with both players and counties, a number of players were left off the roster due to prior commitments or other abroad chances that were judged more advantageous for their particular circumstances.
“At the end of an enjoyable season and after close dialogue with players and counties, it’s exciting to confirm our group that will travel to Abu Dhabi for a training camp later this year,” stated Mo Bobat, the director of performance for England’s men’s team.
“The camp will provide the youngsters a great chance to improve their red ball skills and give us more insight into who they are as individuals and athletes.
We have carefully assessed England’s demands in Test cricket, both short- and long-term, especially in light of sub-continental problems, while picking this group.
“It’s quite a large group and it’s great that we can support player development in this way for what should be a fun camp.”
In due order, the coaching and mentoring group that will go along with the celebration will be revealed.
Rehan Ahmed (Leicestershire), George Balderson (Lancashire), Shoaib Bashir (Somerset), Josh Bohannon (Lancashire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Matthew Fisher (Yorkshire), Tom Hartley (Lancashire), Lyndon James (Nottinghamshire), Tom Lawes (Surrey), Dan Mousley (Warwickshire), Callum Parkinson (Durham), Matthew Potts (Durham), Rishi Patel (Leicestershire), Ollie Price (Gloucestershire), James Rew (Somerset), Ollie Robinson (Durham), Josh Tongue (Nottinghamshire), John Turner (Hampshire) are the members of the England Lions training group.