International cricket is just about three weeks away from returning. West Indies are already in England, undergoing their 14-day quarantine and also, training side-by-side. The England players had resumed their individual training a few weeks ago.
And now, with three weeks to go for the first Test against West Indies, the national selectors have named a 30-man squad for training. This is a ‘behind-closed-doors training group’ who will camp at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, starting from June 23rd (Tuesday).
The entire 30-man group along with the team management will not only train at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, but they will also camp and live on site. Moreover, the training group will also play a three-day practice game which will start on the 1st of July. The squad for the first Test is likely to be picked after this practice game.
“Everyone involved with England is delighted that cricket is returning soon and that the players are reporting for group training in preparation for the Test series against the West Indies. We’d also like to thank all the county coaches who have supported these players over the past few weeks. A squad for the first Test will be announced in due course,” national selector Ed Smith in the press release.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have also announced the team management for red-ball cricket. Head coach Chris Silverwood will be accompanied by Graham Thorpe who will act as the assistant coach. Thorpe will largely focus on the batting side of things. Lancashire Head Coach Glen Chapple will take control as the bowling coach along with Gloucestershire’s Head Coach Richard Dawson who will be in charge of the spin department. Former England wicketkeeper Chris Read will join the team as a wicket-keeping consultant.
The first Test against West Indies is scheduled to start on July 8th at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton before the teams move to the Old Trafford in Manchester for the second and third Test matches.
Behind-Closed-Doors Training Group:
Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Dominic Bess, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Lewis Gregory, Keaton Jennings, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Amar Virdi, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood