Ballance, Rankin and Stokes named in England Ashes squad, Panesar gets Test recall

England go to Australia looking to win their fourth consecutive Ashes series, something no Engliah team has done since 1890.

Updated: September 23, 2013 17:15 IST
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England selectors announced the squad for the Ashes Test series to be held in Australia later this year on Monday. Three uncapped players - Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, Warwickshire pace bowler Boyd Rankin and Durham all rounder Ben Stokes were included in the 17-man squad.

In an official press release by the England & Wales Cricket Board, it was announced that a total of six players who did not take part in the playing eleven during the recent 3-0 Ashes series win at home were named in the squad. Alongside the uncapped Test trio, Michael Carberry, Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett have all been recalled. Carberry played just one Test, against Bangladesh in 2010 while Monty Panesar has represented England in 48 Tests, the last of which was against New Zealand earlier this year. Tremlett had picked up 17 wickets the last time England went to Australia in 2010-11.

Alastair Cook will look to win a fourth Ashes in a row for England, a feat no English team has achieved since 1890.

A 16-man England Performance Programme (EPP) squad was also announced by the selectors. The England Performance Programme will spend a period training at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough followed by a month in Australia. They will be based in Brisbane for 2 weeks and before shifting to Perth for the same amount of time. Two of the players included in the squad, Middlesex batsmen Sam Robson and Durham pace bowler Mark Wood, are yet to be selected for England programmes in any format.

National selector Geoff Miller was confident of England doing well in Australia and rated the team's chances of winning as very high.

"We are fully aware that the Ashes series will once again be fiercely contested and that this squad will need to work extremely hard and play to a very high level to retain the Ashes and we believe we have selected a squad capable of doing just that. As we have seen in previous series we will need all members of the squad ready to step up and make vital contributions throughout the five Tests and we feel that all 17 players have the ability to do that. There is real competition for places with both bat and ball and we feel that we have provided Andy Flower and Alastair Cook with a well balanced squad," he said.

"Tim Bresnan has not been named in the squad and is continuing his recovery from a stress fracture in his back. He will travel to Australia with the squad to maximise his rehab opportunities with the medical team and coaches who will monitor his progress," he added.

He also praised the England Performance Programme as a step to develop bidding talent.

"The England Performance Programme provides an excellent opportunity for those players identified as having considerable talent to train together in an England environment throughout the winter and further develop as cricketers and this is an exciting young squad who have impressed in domestic cricket recently."

"The time spent at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and Australia allows our coaches to work intensively with the players and assess their readiness to graduate to the full England side when the opportunity arises. Gary Ballance, Boyd Rankin and Ben Stokes have all come through the EPP in recent years and have put in strong performances for their counties and England teams to earn an opportunity to step into the Test environment."

England squad:

Alastair Cook (Essex) (Capt)

Matt Prior (Sussex) (VC)

James Anderson (Lancashire)

Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)

Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)

Ian Bell (Warwickshire)

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)

Michael Carberry (Hampshire)

Steven Finn (Middlesex)

Monty Panesar (Sussex/Essex)

Kevin Pietersen (Surrey)

Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire)

Joe Root (Yorkshire)

Ben Stokes (Durham)

Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)

Chris Tremlett (Surrey)

Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)

England Performance Programme Squad:

Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)

Danny Briggs (Hampshire)

Jos Buttler (Somerset)

Varun Chopra (Warwickshire)

Ben Foakes (Essex)

James Harris (Middlesex)

Chris Jordan (Sussex)

Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire)

Alex Lees (Yorkshire)

Tymal Mills (Essex)

Jamie Overton (Somerset)

Sam Robson (Middlesex)

Reece Topley (Essex)

James Vince (Hampshire)

David Willey (Northamptonshire)

Mark Wood (Durham)

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