England have named their Test and ODI squads for the winter tour of Sri Lanka as well as announcing the Lions squads for matches against Pakistan A in UAE:
Here’s a party of players who must feel unfortunate not to have at least made the Lions cut…
Ben Slater (Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire) 349 CC runs @ 43.62 (Div 1) / 676 CC runs @ 42.75 (Div 2) / 386 ODC runs @ 55.14
Left-handed opening bat Slater’s consistent run plundering earned him a move from Derbyshire to Nottinghamshire. He made runs in both the First Class (Divisions 1 & 2) and List A format. Next year he’ll hope to continue to go well amongst many new faces at Trent Bridge.
Will Rhodes (Warwickshire) 972 CC runs @ 44.18
Having departed Yorkshire, Rhodes grew and grew at his new home finishing the campaign with four tons in the County Championship. He and Dominic Sibley look a strong foundation for a Warwickshire side that like a signing!
Daryl Mitchell (Worcestershire) Captain 957 CC runs @ 38.81
With a lot on his plate off the field, Mitchell made four tons in Division One having previously been criticised for scoring the majority of his centuries in Division Two. He’s a more than handy asset with the ball too and could captain the side.
James Hildreth (Somerset) 1089 CC runs @ 45.38 / 438 ODC runs @ 62.57
Runs, more runs for the Somerset veteran, not just in the First Class arena but with the white-ball too. Somehow he remains ignored by yet another selection panel.
Tom Abell (Somerset) Vice-Captain 883 CC runs @ 40.41 / 19 wickets @ 25.89
Similar to Mitchell in that he’s a batsman come all-rounder, Abell’s batting has started to fall into place again and he and Mitchell would make a good leadership brains trust.
Ed Barnard (Worcestershire) 516 CC runs @ 23.45 / 49 CC wickets @ 23.22 / 153 ODC runs @ 76.50 / 16 ODC wickets @ 28.88
It’s utterly absurd that Barnard’s efforts haven’t been recognised by the selectors this season. With both bat and ball and in red and white-ball cricket, Barnard has consistently starred.
Ryan Higgins (Gloucestershire) 48 CC wickets @ 18.38 / 195 ODC runs 65.00
Like Rhodes, a move has been a good move for Higgins and like Barnard, he’s performed in all facets in all formats having joined Gloucestershire from Middlesex.
Ben Brown (Sussex) Wicketkeeper 912 CC runs @ 43.43 (52ct/1st)
Another strong campaign from the Sussex gloveman. A genuine top six willow wielder and has handy captaincy experience to support Mitch and Abell behind the stumps.
Matthew Carter (Nottinghamshire) 16 CC wickets @ 32.81 / 13 ODC wickets @ 15.23
Carter didn’t rack up phenomenal stats but the potential is there and it was good to see him get more experience under his belt. England should ‘Get Carter’! Sorry, I’ve used that one before but couldn’t resist!
Tom Bailey (Lancashire) 64 CC wickets @ 19.66
Bailey’s consistent wicket-taking means that he’s another odd one to be so obviously neglected. He poses a constant threat for batsman and averaged sub 20 with the ball in County Championship Division One.
Ben Coad (Yorkshire) 48 CC wickets @ 16.33
Like his Lancashire rival and in this squad, opening bowling partner, Coad is another strange one to miss out. Despite his excellent Division One performances he’s rarely mentioned in England dispatches. There’s possibly a reluctance on the part of the selectors to pick another Yorkshireman.
The following players could also make the squad with some selections geared towards limited overs cricket in particular.
Ian Cockbain (Gloucestershire) 208 ODC runs @ 69.33
Laurie Evans (Sussex) 243 CC runs @ 60.75 / 614 T20B runs @ 68.22
Ben Cox (Worcestershire) Wicketkeeper 396 ODC runs @ 79.20 (18ct)
Sam Cook (Essex) 27 CC wickets @ 25.33
Ben Sanderson (Northamptonshire) 60 CC wickets @ 16.70
Amir Virdi (Surrey) 39 CC wickets @ 30.36
Even beyond this squad there are yet more England qualified players to have been neglected. Maybe Ed Smith and crew will pull another surprise on us soon!