The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have picked a 13-man squad for the first two matches of the upcoming three-Test series against New Zealand, starting on June 2. As expected, the veteran seam-bowling pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad have returned to the squad.
Yorkshire batter Harry Brook and Durham seamer Matthew Potts have earned maiden call-ups to the Test squad after their performances in the county season.
Brook has amassed 758 runs at 151.60, including three centuries and four fifties in five matchers for Yorkshire. Meanwhile, Potts has been impressive with the ball, picking up 35 wickets, including four fifers in six matches at 18.57. The right-arm seamer is the leading wicket-taker in the County Championship division two.
ECB managing director Robert Key addressed the squad selection by saying that they have opted for a mix of youth and experience. He stated that Brook and Potts have received call-ups based on their county form and expects an enticing contest against New Zealand.
“This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben and Brendon. With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month’s Test series. We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level. It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can’t wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side,” Key told ECB’s official website.
The three-match rubber is also a part of the ICC World Test Championship. The squad will gather for the first time next week in a camp before reporting to London on May 29 ahead of the opening Test.
England Squad: Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brooks, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root.
Matthew Mott named England’s white-ball coach
In yet another massive development, the ECB have named Matthew Mott as their limited-overs coach. Mott, who was coaching the Australian women’s team, has signed a four-year deal with the ECB.
Mott has been with the Australian women’s side since 2015 and has overseen one of their most successful periods. Under him, Australia won consecutive T20 World Cups, the 50-over World Cup and are unbeaten in four Ashes series. The 48-year-old also led them to 26 successive ODI triumphs.
Mott, who pipped Paul Collingwood for the role, said that despite being an Australian, he has deep connections with the UK and has plenty of friends. He hopes to join forces with Eoin Morgan and Rob Key to take England’s white-ball team to new heights.
“I am delighted to accept the opportunity to take this white-ball role with England. Whilst I am Australian, I have deep connections, and several of my closest friends are in the UK, having spent considerable time in Scotland, Wales and England, both as a player and coach. When this role became available, I was attracted by the chance to work with such an established and successful team under the astute leadership of Eoin Morgan and now Rob Key, whom I have always admired as an excellent cricket mind,” Mott told ECB’s official website.
The former first-class player will start his tenure with England’s three-game ODI series against the Netherlands in Amsterdam next month.