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England make their team announcement for the Ashes in Australia

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The Ashes has had many great moments since Australia won their first ever Test on English soil way back in 1882.

The name ‘Ashes’ was coiled by ‘The Sporting Times’ following Australia’s win at the Oval – the paper published at obituary stating that English cricket had died.

Since then, the ‘Ashes’ rivalry between England and Australia has arguably produced some of the greatest sporting stories in history and not those are not just confined to the cricket field.

Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh were at Headingly in 1981 with England on the precipice of an innings collapse. The score board flashed up odds of 500-1.

Lille and Marsh decided to have a bet and sent the Australian bus driver round the corner to Ladbrokes to place two bets of £10 and £5 respectively.

Step forward Ian Botham and Bob Willis – the pair produced one of the greatest comebacks in Ashes history.

On the field, Shane Warne at Old Trafford 1993, Andrew Flintoff hugging Brett Lee at Edgbaston in 2005, and Shane Warne taking his 699th Test wicket in his final Test in his home Stadium the MCG.

All great moments.

As England named their squad for the Ashes tour to Australia at 10am Wednesday morning – they did so under a cloud.

CRICKET-ENG-WIS

Ben Stokes, one of their key players, is under investigation for causing actual bodily harm in Bristol, following the win in the city against the West Indies.

With the Durham player facing scrutiny for alleged ABH – the 26-year-old can be thankful that his place on the tour has not been jeopardised.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, former England captain Michael Vaughan believed that the incident early Monday morning should act as a catalyst for the 26-year-old to change his lifestyle.

"Ben Stokes can't say he was not warned.

"I have been privy to private conversations about him recently and he has been given strong warnings about his lifestyle.

England v South Africa - 2nd Investec Test: Day One

"People have said to him there is only one person who can ruin your career and that is you.
“Nobody else," Vaughan concluded.

Whether Stokes' brush with the law will have any effect on his behaviour remains to be seen.

Elsewhere, the squad sees a Test recall for James Vince replacing Tom Westley, whilst Durham’s Mark Wood misses out with an ankle injury, joining Toby Roland-Jones on the injured list.

Craig Overton, Mason Crane, and Ben Foakes are probable debutants for the Ashes tour. Mason Crane is one to watch in Australia, especially as the leg spinner impressed in New South Wales last year – even being selected for the NSW provincial side.

Foakes, a firm favourite of both Graeme Swann and Michael Vaughan, is widely regarded to be the best wicketkeeper in the county league; he’s a good batsman too – which will be grand if he gets a handle on the hard surfaces in Australia.

Hampshire v Surrey - Specsavers County Championship: Division One

The rest of the squad speaks for itself – Moeen Ali is an exceptional cricketer and showed it over the weekend in Bristol with a spectacular display, Joe Root is exceptional, Essex captain Alastair Cook looks a different player without the pressures of captaincy, and the likes of Broad, Bairstow, and Anderson will fit into any team.  

England Squad:

Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

England Ashes Tour schedule:

November
4-5 v Western Australia XI, Perth (Waca)
8-11 v Cricket Australia XI, Adelaide (d/n)
15-18 v Cricket Australia XI, Townsville
23-27 1st Test, Brisbane (00.00 GMT)

England & West Indies Nets Session

December
2-6 2nd Test, Adelaide (d/n) (04.00 GMT)
9-10 v Cricket Australia XI, Perth (venue TBC)
14-18 3rd Test, Perth (Waca) (02.30 GMT)
26-30 4th Test, Melbourne (23.30 GMT, 25-29 Dec)

January
4-8 5th Test, Sydney (23.30 GMT, 3-7 Jan)
11 v Cricket Australia XI, Sydney (venue TBC)
14 1st ODI, Melbourne (03.20 GMT)
19 2nd ODI, Brisbane (04.20 GMT)
21 3rd ODI, Sydney (03.20 GMT)
26 4th ODI, Adelaide (03.50 GMT)
28 5th ODI, Perth (venue TBC) (06.20 GMT)

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Topics:
Cricket
The Ashes
ODI
Kevin Pietersen
T20
Joe Root
Australia cricket
England cricket

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