Warwickshire’s Royal London One-Day Cup-winning pair of Sam Hain and Josh Poysden are among the players who will be given the chance to press their England one-day claims in the first North versus South series in the UAE next March.
Hain (21) was the leading run-scorer in the 2016 Royal London One-Day Cup, in what was his breakthrough season for the Bears in white ball cricket, scoring 540 runs at an average of 60, with two centuries and three fifties.
Leg-spinner Poysden (25) was recently named in the England Lions 50-over squad for the series with Sri Lanka A in February and March after impressing as a net bowler in the Lions post-season training camps at Loughborough and in Dubai.
“For all the players selected, the North versus South series is a platform to make an impression,” said the National Selector James Whitaker after the squads were finalised this week.
“As Andrew Strauss said when he introduced the series before the start of the 2016 season, we see it as an important addition to our selection process in 50-over cricket, ahead of the two major global events we are staging over the next three summers – the Champions Trophy next year, and the World Cup in 2019.
“With the calibre of the squads we have selected, we are confident there will be an intense and high-quality level of competition that allows us to assess players who are currently just outside the England squad, and their ability to perform at that higher level.
“The teams will be led by two members of the senior England coaching staff – Paul Farbrace with the South, and Ottis Gibson with the North. They were both involved in the selection process, and the England head coach Trevor Bayliss will be attending the matches with me next March.”
Four players in each team had already earned their places through their performances in the 2016 Royal London One-Day Cup, measured by the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Most Valuable Player rankings.
Ben Duckett, Graeme White, Tim Bresnan and Harry Gurney qualified from the North Group, with Dawson, Matt Coles and the Somerset pair Lewis Gregory and Tim Groenewald qualifying from the South Group.
Along with Poysden, the selectors have added seven members of the Lions squad announced earlier this week for the one-day series against Sri Lanka A in March – Jennings, Joe Clarke and Liam Livingstone to the North squad, and Alsop, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Ben Foakes and Tom Curran to the South. They will all head direct to Dubai from Sri Lanka at the end of the Lions tour.
Whitaker added: “We also wanted to use this series as an opportunity to see some other players who have shown potential in the county game.”
The squads will gather in Dubai ahead of warm-up matches on March 15, with the first two matches of the series at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on March 17 and 19 before it concludes at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on March 21.
Squads for North versus South series, March 2017
K Jennings (Durham, capt), B Duckett (Northamptonshire Steelbacks*), S Hain (Warwickshire), J Clarke (Worcestershire Rapids, wk), L Livingstone (Lancashire Lightning), J Leaning (Yorkshire Vikings), T Bresnan (Yorkshire Vikings*), J Poysden (Warwickshire), G White (Northamptonshire Steelbacks*), M Wood (Durham), S Mahmood (Lancashire Lightning), R Gleeson (Northamptonshire Steelbacks), H Gurney (Notts Outlaws*).
J Vince (Hampshire, capt), D Bell-Drummond (Kent Spitfires), T Alsop (Hampshire), D Malan (Middlesex), S Northeast (Kent Spitfires), L Dawson (Hampshire*), B Foakes (Surrey, wk), T Curran (Surrey), L Gregory (Somerset*), T Groenewald (Somerset*), M Coles (Kent Spitfires*), S Finn (Middlesex), M Crane (Hampshire).
* Automatic selection through position in Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Most Valuable Player rankings for the 2016 Royal London One-Day Cup