England Name Squad For 1st Ashes Test, Reappoint Ben Stokes As Vice-Captain
Recently, Ben Stokes led England to their maiden World Cup triumph with an unbeaten knock of 84 in the final against New Zealand at Lord's.
England announced the much anticipated 14-man squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia, starting on August 1 at Edgbaston. Joe Root will lead the squad with biggest highlight being the reappointment of Ben Stokes as Test vice-captain. Also, Barbadian-born fast bowler Jofra Archer was named in the Test squad for the first time. Recently, Ben Stokes led England to the their maiden World Cup triumph with an unbeaten knock of 84 in the final against New Zealand at Lord's. After both the match and the Super Over ended in ties, England were crowned champions due to a superior boundary-count tie-breaker rule.
Colin Graves, Chairman of the ECB, 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.
"Stokes returns to the role for the first time since September 2017 and assumes responsibility from Jos Buttler," the ECB said in a release.
Commenting on the selection of the squad, National Selector Ed Smith, said: "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 Test match cricket.
"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."
Archer was also called up to the Test squad following an impressive show in the World Cup. The 24-year-old returned to action for Sussex last night in the Vitality Blast after a sore left side. His readiness for five-day cricket will be assessed at Edgbaston. Since making his senior debut in 2016, Archer has played 28 first-class matches taking 131 wickets at 23.44.
Jos Buttler and all-rounder Stokes returned to the Test squad having been rested for the Ireland Test at Lord's.
Lewis Gregory and Jack Leach missed out after having been selected in the Test squad for the victory over Ireland this week.
James Anderson is making good progress in his rehabilitation from his right calf injury and is expected to be fit for the first Test.
Complete squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vice-captain), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes