NEWS

Uncapped trio picked for England tour to Bangladesh

September 16, 2016

England's cricket selectors have chosen three uncapped players for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, which will include three one-day internationals and two Test matches.

The trio are 19-year-old Lancashire opener Haseeb Hameed, Northamptonshire batsman Ben Duckett and Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari. Other notable picks include 38-year-old Surrey off-spinner Gareth Batty, who is in the Test squad for the first time since 2005, while Jos Buttler is also back in the Test squad. Mark Wood is also back after recovering from ankle trouble and performing well in the recent one-day series against Pakistan.

Ansari will be delighted to get a second chance after a finger injury ruled him out of the series against Pakistan in the UAE last October. His left-arm spin offers an important option to the side alongside the offspin of Batty and Moeen Ali, or the leg-spin of Adil Rashid.

Hameed is set to become the first teenager to play a Test for England since Ben Hollioake in 1997, with Alex Hales having chosen not to tour and thus leaving an opening batsman's slot vacant. He has made four first-class centuries this season, including two in the Roses match against Yorkshire last month. National selector James Whitaker said of him: "His four centuries, against some of the best bowling attacks in the country, are testament to his outstanding temperament and attitude."

The last Lancashire player picked for England as a batsman was Mike Atherton, and the selectors will hope Hameed can have as good a career. If he does, it will provide a long-awaited solution to what has been a problem position since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012.

Duckett has been a prolific scorer in all forms of the game this summer and will be in both the Test and one-day squads. Whitaker remarked: "Throughout the campaign, he has scored heavily for Northamptonshire in first class cricket including two double hundreds.

"His 220 not out for the England Lions in a 50-over game against Sri Lanka A earlier this summer was very special and we look forward to seeing Ben continue his development at the highest level in the game."

The one-day squad will be captained by Jos Buttler in the absence of Eoin Morgan, who like Hales opted not to tour over security concerns. Joe Root has been rested and will join the Test squad later, while Jake Ball and James Vince, who were both dropped from the Test side during the Pakistan series, are back for the one-day games.

Fans booking corporate hospitality for ICC Champions Trophy matches at Edgbaston next summer may be keen to see how Duckett gets on, and whether the team can maintain their impressive recent form.

The first two one-day internationals will be staged at Dhaka on October 7th and 9th, with the final match at Chittagong. The two venues will then each host a Test match before England move on to India for a five-match Test series.

To date, England have won all eight Tests they have played against Bangladesh since the Asian side gained full ICC status in 2000, but Bangladesh have won one-day internationals against England, including knocking them out of last year's World Cup.

By Alex Brundell 

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