Warwickshire batsman Dom Sibley will continue to join up with the England Lions squad for the red-ball leg of their tour of Australia, following the fourth and final Test of the series with South Africa in Johannesburg.
Sibley, alongside fellow Test squad members Zak Crawley and Dom Bess, was named in the original Lions squad before Christmas, with their situations monitored over recent weeks as their playing time with the senior team increased.
All three have starred in England’s series win over South Africa. Sibley followed up his outstanding 2019 with the Bears by scoring his maiden Test century in the historic win in Cape Town, scoring 324 runs in the series at an average of 54.
This [Lions tour] will not only allow them to hone their skills on Australian wickets for future Ashes series, but it is also a chance to continue the form with selection for England’s Sri Lanka tour on the horizon.ECB Performance Director, Mo Bobat
Crawley came into the team for the injured Rory Burns in Cape Town and celebrated his first Test half-century in Johannesburg this week. Bess, meanwhile, was a late call-up to the squad with Jack Leach unavailable with illness. He claimed his first Test five-wicket haul in Port Elizabeth, taking five for 51 in the first innings.
ECB Performance Director, Mo Bobat, said: “Following conversations with the players, England coaches, National Selectors and the counties we have agreed that Dom, Zak and Dom will travel to Australia with the Lions as planned.
“It has been great to see them performing so well in the Test arena and the Lions tour is an opportunity for them to continue their development in international cricket, gaining experience in a wider range of conditions.
“This will not only allow them to hone their skills on Australian wickets for future Ashes series, but is also a chance to continue the form with selection for England’s Sri Lanka tour on the horizon.”
Sibley, Crawley and Bess will depart for Sydney with the rest of the Lions’ red-ball squad on Friday, 7 February. The Lions have three four-day matches on the schedule – one against a Cricket Australia XI in Hobart (15-18 Feb), a day/night match against Australia A at the MCG (22-25 Feb) and a third against a New South Wales XI at Wollongong (2-5 Mar).
Bess was originally named in the Lions’ limited-overs squad, which departed for Australia last week, but is now withdrawn from these matches. No replacement will be named.