Key to lead England A

Robert Key has been named captain of the England A side to take on Sri Lanka at Worcester in a tour match.

Six players who toured with England in the winter also made the cut, Owais Shah, Alex Loudon, Alistair Cook, Sajid Mahmood, Liam Plunkett and Chris Tremlett, although he withdrew from the tours through injury.

The rest of the team is made up of Rikki Clarke, who has played two tests against Bangladesh, Ed Joyce, Ravinder Bopara and wicket keeper Chris Read, whose good form at the start of the season could soon put Geraint Jones under pressure.

It is a chance for some to prove themselves against quality opposition, and Mahmood, Plunkett and Tremlett, to secure their spot as England’s second reserve pace bowler, behind James Anderson.

Chairman of selectors, David Graveney embraced the fixture for the side, visiting teams have not faced England A before, saying: “This is the first opportunity an England A side has had to take on a touring side in this country, and it allows players who are currently on the fringe of the international arena to press for places in our Test and one-day sides.”

England A XI
Robert Key (captain), Ravi Bopara, Rikki Clarke, Alastair Cook, Ed Joyce, Alex Loudon, Sajid Mahmood, Liam Plunkett, Chris Read, Owais Shah, Chris Tremlett,

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