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England name 14-man Lions squad for tour of Australia

E

ngland Lions have named a 14-man squad that includes four new faces and four Test players for their tour of Australia next month, shadowing the senior squad ahead of the Ashes.

Surrey wicketkeeper-batter Jamie Smith is among the new faces, with Ben Foakes deciding to embark on yet another Lions tour after a winter of fitness disruption.

Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson and Dom Sibley, all of whom missed out on full Ashes selection, are included, but there is no place for Liam Livingstone, who will follow the T20 World Cup by travelling to Australia but to play in the Big Bash.

Batters rewarded for strong seasons include Warwickshire’s Rob Yates and Lancashire’s Josh Bohannon, while Durham’s Alex Lees is a Lion for the first time in six years.

Tom Abell will be involved before joining up with Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash, while James Bracey, who had a tough Test baptism against New Zealand in the summer, is included.

Mahmood, Brydon Carse, Yorkshire’s Matt Fisher and Warwickshire’s Liam Norwell provide pace options, but it is a surprise to see Essex’s Sam Cook miss out.

While both spinners in the Ashes squad are finger-spinners, there are two leggies in this group, Parkinson and Mason Crane. Sibley is included after being dropped by England and losing his central contract.

The Lions travel to Queensland with the Ashes squad on November 4 to quarantine and prepare for the series.

England will hold two intra-squad matches, one three-day and one four-day, before the Ashes. Lions will be involved in these games and some will remain with the main squad beyond the First Test.

Both the Test and Lions squads are smaller than expected, perhaps as England do not want to overcomplicate selection.

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