Fast bowler Jofra Archer on Saturday received maiden Test call-up as England named a 14-man squad for the first Ashes match, beginning August 1 at Edgbaston.
The 24-year-old found a spot in the squad on the back of his impressive performance in England’s successful ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup campaign. Archer readiness for five-day cricket will be assessed, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced.
Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, both who were rested for the one-off Test against Ireland, have returned to the squad. Lewis Gregory and Jack, who were part of the one-off Test, have been dropped. However, Leach will train with the Test squad in the run-up to the first Ashes match.
Chairman of the ECB, Colin Graves has approved the reappointment of Stokes as Test vice-captain following the recommendation from Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket Ashley Giles and ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison. The all-rounder will return to the role for the first time since September 2017 and assume responsibility from Buttler.
Jimmy Anderson, who was ruled out of one-off Test against Ireland due to right calf injury, is making good progress and is expected to be fit for the first Test.
“Though it is unusual to select a squad of 14 for a home Test, there are compelling reasons to do so here. Several bowlers are recovering from injuries or niggles. In addition, some bowlers who played in the World Cup are being closely monitored to assess their preparation for the Test match cricket,” National Selector Ed Smith said.
“The wider circumstances — a successful home World Cup campaign followed so quickly by a home Ashes series — are unprecedented. It feels sensible to select an expanded squad and leave a number of bowling options open for the final team selection,” Smith added.
The squad will report to Birmingham on July 29.
Following is the 14-man squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
England and Australia will compete in five Ashes Test matches from August 1 to September 16.