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England squad for Ashes announced

27th September, 2017
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Stuart Broad doesn't mind a spot of village cricket. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
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27th September, 2017
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England have announced a 16-man squad for the 2017-18 Ashes series on Wednesday evening (AEST) with Ben Stokes retained despite alleged off-field issues and a host of fresh faces, including three debutants, making their appearance.

Stokes was arrested on suspicion of alleged assault during the week, but was released under investigation with no charge recorded.

England took the decision to drop him from their fourth ODI against the West Indies, which is being played on Wednesday, but have left him in the Ashes squad and retained his position as vice-captain.

Top order batsmen Gary Ballance and James Vince have been recalled to the side after being dropped for the recent Test series against the West Indies, who the Poms sensationally lost the second Test too, but took the series 2-1.

Quick Jake Ball has also been re-called to the side, with Toby Rolland-Jones making way. However, it would be assumed that Chris Woakes will take the third seamer spot after battling injury during the home summer.

“A tour of Australia is the ultimate test for our squad. We have provided Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss with a well-balanced squad with options in all areas,” England Selector James Whitaker said.

“After a successful summer, having won the Test series against South Africa and West Indies, there is real competition for places and we have selected a squad that will work hard and compete against Australia, aiming to win the Ashes.

Jonny Bairstow has been retained as the wicket-keeper for the side, but he will have a back-up in debutant Ben Foakes. England will take three uncapped players to Australia, with Foakes being joined by paceman Craig Overton and young spinner Mason Crane.

It’s been questioned by Hampshire cricket chairman Rod Bransgrove whether Crane was ready, however the selectors have put a show of faith in the youngster, who will only get a start should incumbent spinner Moeen Ali struggle or pick up an injury.

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“Surrey’s Ben Foakes deserves his selection for the first time at this level. His glovework has been exemplary and he is regarded as a wicketkeeper of the highest quality. He has the ability to contribute with the bat scoring over 680 runs in the Championship this summer at an average of 45.33,” said Whitaker

“Craig Overton, who like Foakes has come through the International Pathway, has been involved in the England set-up this summer with the Lions and the IT20 squad. He will now get his chance at Test level.”

The Ashes get underway on November 23 with the first Test to be played at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Full 16-man England squad for Ashes

Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes

Likely best England XI

1. Alastair Cook
2. Mark Stoneman
3. Gary Ballance
4. Joe Root (c)
5. Dawid Malan
6. Ben Stokes
7. Jonny Bairstow
8. Moeen Ali
9. Stuart Broad
10. Chris Woakes
11. James Anderson

Roarers, what do you make of the England side for the 2017-18 Ashes tour of Australia? Drop a comment below and let us know.

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