England name starting XI for first Men's Ashes Test
England have named their starting XI for the first LV= Insurance Men’s Ashes Test at Edgbaston, starting on Friday.
Warwickshire off-spinner Moeen Ali has been included for the first time in 21 months as the Three Lions face Australia in the first of five Tests this summer.
In attack, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ollie Robinson support Ali, with Anderson recovering from a groin injury and Robinson from an ankle problem.
At 40 years and 321 days when the match starts on Friday, Anderson is set to become the oldest England player to open the bowling in an Ashes Test since George Geary in 1934.
In the batting department, Ben Duckett and Harry Brook will make their Ashes debuts.
England, who are looking to regain the Ashes they lost in 2018, are unbeaten at home since 2001, although they have not won any of the past three Ashes series.
They head to Birmingham in high spirits on the back of 11 wins in their past 13 Tests under captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
Australia have yet to name their team, although they may be unchanged following their World Test Championship victory over India at the Kia Oval.
“To be part of it is amazing. It’s such a big series and the guys have been playing exciting cricket,” said Moeen. “Stokesy messaged me with a question mark – ‘Ashes?’. I just said ‘LOL’, thinking he was taking the mick. The news came through and I had a chat with him. That was it.
“I’ve obviously spent a lot of time with Stokesy during the IPL and he didn’t mention anything about coming out of retirement, it was just about the Ashes and how he was looking to take the team. He obviously watched me train out there and thinks I can bowl decently.
“It is a free hit. I’m not playing for my spot. There’s no pressure, really. I spoke to Baz [McCullum] and he said he’s not bothered about how I perform, which is quite nice.
“As an individual, I want to do well and contribute to winning games. All the things I ever wanted to do in Test cricket I’m going to try to do in these games. It could be dangerous, it could be not so dangerous. We’ll see.”
England XI for first Ashes Test
Ben Stokes (c)
Jonny Bairstow (wk)
Over 8,500 tickets sold for Pakistan Women IT20
Pakistan Women will be in Birmingham on Saturday 11 May 2024 and over 8,500 tickets have already been sold.
With the Men’s IT20 already sold out, this is your last chance to see Pakistan at Edgbaston next summer. Tickets available from only £15, before the 12 March Early Bird deadline.