ECB announced a 16-member squad for the three-match Test tour of West Indies while excluding veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
England Squad for West Indies Test Series
England were scheduled to tour West Indies to play 5 matches T20I series along with 3 match Test series with an additional 4-day practice test match.
In the recently concluded 5 matches T20I series, the hosts West Indies won the series by 3-2 while the Test matches will kickstart from March 8 with the 4-day practice match on March 1, 2022.
The ECB selection panel included Durham opener Alex Lees and Yorkshire seamer Matthew Fisher for the first time.
Lees, 28, captained the Lions squad in Australia and has shown great potential in the County Championship over the past few years with Durham and previously Yorkshire. He scored 625 runs in last year’s Championship campaign, with the highest score of 129.
The 24-year-old Fisher took 20 wickets for Yorkshire last season at an average of 19.65 from County Championship matches. His control with the ball has impressed the England set-up for some time, and he was a stand-out performer for the Lions during the winter program.
Alongside the new additions to the squad, the Lancashire duo of Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson will be aiming to make their Test debut in the Caribbean having featured in previous squads.
Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes returns to the squad for the first time in under a year when he played the fourth Test in Ahmedabad last March against India.
Sir Andrew Strauss View
Interim managing director for England men’s cricket, Sir Andrew Strauss said it was the perfect time to freshen up the Test squad.
Our Interim Head Coach, @Colly622 👍
Colly takes charge for the #WIvENG Test series 🏏
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 7, 2022
“With the start of a new cycle, it has allowed the selection panel to refresh the Test squad with a particular focus on competing away from home,” he said.
“We felt that it was time to draw a line after the Ashes defeat, look forward and give some impetus with an influx of new players.”
Strauss remains hopeful that Anderson and Broad still have plenty to offer the national side and expects the duo to be back playing for their country shortly.
“In respect of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, I want to emphasise this does not mean the end for them as England players,” he added.
“We feel that it is important to look at some exciting new bowling potential and give some added responsibility to other players who have featured previously. No one doubts the quality and experience that James and Stuart bring to the England set-up. It will be up to the new managing director and permanent head coach to decide on whether they will be involved this summer and beyond.
“This selection of this squad is the start of a process and a journey to get England Test cricket back to where it needs to be, and the hard work starts now.”
England currently sit in ninth place on the ICC World Test Championship table, while the West Indies are one place ahead in eighth.
Right after England loses the Ashes 2021-22, ECB has numerous changes in their squad.
- James Anderson dropped
- Stuart Broad dropped
- Jos Buttler dropped
- Director Ashely Giles stepped down
- Head coach Chris Silverwood stepped down
- Assistant coach Graham Thorpe stepped down
The three-match Test series forms part of the ICC World Test Championship. Joe Root’s team will be looking to climb the rankings after a disappointing start to the second edition of the Championship. At the end of the two-year cycle, the top two teams will compete in the ICC World Test Championship Final due to be staged in 2023.
England Men’s Test squad
Joe Root (c), Jonathan Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Matthew Fisher, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
West Indies vs England Test Schedule
First Test: March 8-12 in Antigua
Second Test: March 16-20 in Barbados
Third Test: March 24-28 in Grenada