England announce 16-man squad to face Sri Lanka

Cook will lead England in Sri Lanka. (©GettyImages)

England have confirmed Alastair Cook will captain the ODI side leading into the 2015 World Cup whilst announcing a 16-man squad for the seven match ODI series against Sri Lanka.

The headline news came in the batting line-up with centrally contracted Gary Ballance missing out while Nottinghamshire's James Taylor is included in a full England squad for the first time in over a year.

There was also a recall for all-rounder Ravi Bopara who was extremely unlucky to not be involved in the recent Royal London ODI series against India whilst the rest of the squad remains the same which departs on November 16.

That will mean Alex Hales will have further opportunities to strike up a partnership with Cook at the top of the order while Adil Rashid can consider himself unfortunate after the leg-spinner finished as the top wicket taker in the domestic 50-over competition.

However, the Yorkshire leg-spinner will travel with England, along with Stephen Parry to help Cook's men prepare before leaving to join up with a batting and spinning camp in another squad which was announced by the ECB this afternoon.

Six seam bowlers all of whom played for England this summer will travel to Sri Lanka, while Stuart Broad remains unavailable for selection while he continues his recovery from a knee operation.

Selectors also announced the 19 players who will form  the England Performance
Programme (EPP) this winter. Led by Andy Flower this will consist of training blocks at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough before a three week camp in Sri Lanka for spin bowlers and batters while the fast bowlers will train in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

An England Lions squad for the tour of South Africa early next year will be selected towards the end of the training blocks.

National selector, James Whitaker, said: “With the ICC Cricket World Cup less than five months away we are very aware that our one-day cricket needs to develop quickly if we are to arrive at the competition ready to compete with the very best sides in the world.

"This tour to Sri Lanka allows the players and management to focus fully on improving skills in limited overs cricket ahead of final selection for the Cricket World Cup. While conditions in Australia and New Zealand will differ to those the squad experiences in Sri
Lanka we can still make significant strides forward as a side during the series.

“Congratulations to James Taylor who has been rewarded for his outstanding form for Nottinghamshire this season and fully deserves another opportunity in the international arena. While Gary Ballance will I’m sure be disappointed to miss out on this tour he knows he remains a very important part of our plans.

“I would also like to congratulate all players selected on the England Performance Programme. As we have seen in the last year it is vital that we have players ready to perform on the international stage when they are given the opportunity and the EPP plays an important role in identifying and working with those players we believe have the potential to thrive in international cricket.

“On behalf of the selectors I would like to wish Alastair Cook, Peter Moores and both squads all the very best for the months ahead.”

England squad:

Alastair Cook (Essex) (captain)

Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)

James Anderson (Lancashire)

Ian Bell (Warwickshire)

Ravi Bopara (Essex)

Jos Buttler (Lancashire)

Steven Finn (Middlesex)

Harry Gurney (Nottinghamshire)

Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire)

Chris Jordan (Sussex)

Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)

Joe Root (Yorkshire)

Ben Stokes (Durham)

James Taylor (Nottinghamshire)

James Tredwell (Kent)

Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)


England Performance Programme

Batting and Spin Camp in Sri Lanka:

Zafar Ansari (Surrey), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Adam Lees (Yorkshire), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Stephen Parry (Lancashire), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Adam Riley (Kent), Jason Roy (Surrey), James Vince (Hampshire), Tom Westley (Essex)

Fast Bowlers camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa:

Jack Brooks (Yorkshire), Matthew Dunn (Surrey), Mark Footitt (Derbyshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)

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