England finally name Ashes squad after resolving quarantine row with Australia – with Jos Buttler and returning Stuart Broad IN… but Ben Stokes is OUT as he continues to focus on his mental health
- Chris Silverwood has named a 17-man England squad for this year’s Ashes tour
- Jos Buttler will play after raising concerns about Australia’s quarantine plans
- Stuart Broad has also made the Ashes squad despite a bad calf injury this year
- Ben Stokes and Sam Curran have not been selected for the Australia trip
England cricket coach Chris Silverwood has selected the strongest possible squad available to him for the Ashes tour in Australia which starts next month.
Silverwood has named a 17-man squad for the tour, a list which includes vice-captain Jos Buttler, who raised concerns about going to an Australia faced with coronavirus restrictions and quarantine regulations with his family.
Stuart Broad will return from a calf injury in time to take part in his fourth Ashes tour. Fellow bowler Sam Curran misses out on the Ashes due to a back problem, while Ben Stokes has not been named as he continues his indefinite break from sport.
Chris Silverwood has named a 17-man England squad for the Ashes tour of Australia
Jos Buttler (above) will go to Australia after raising doubts about the country’s Covid-19 status
ENGLAND’S ASHES TOUR SQUAD 2021
Joe Root (Yorkshire) Captain
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Dom Bess (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Rory Burns (Surrey)
Jos Buttler (Lancashire)
Zak Crawley (Kent)
Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire)
Dan Lawrence (Essex)
Jack Leach (Somerset)
Dawid Malan (Yorkshire)
Craig Overton (Somerset)
Ollie Pope (Surrey)
Ollie Robinson (Sussex)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
Mark Wood (Durham)
This year’s Ashes tour was in serious doubt after England players demanded more guarantees about their coronavirus bubble and quarantine arrangements for them and their families.
However, an agreement was reached this week between the England players and Cricket Australia, with the ECB announcing on Friday that they had provided conditional approval for the five-Test series to take place ‘subject to several critical conditions being met’ before travel.
Ten of the 17 players will be taking part in their first Ashes tour of Australia, including vice-captain Jos Buttler who committed to the trip after doubts about whether he and his family would attend.
Buttler made clear that he would not embark on the tour without his wife Louise and two young daughters Georgia and Margot, who was born last month, but after several meetings with Cricket Australia this week it appears that those in line for selection are happy with the quarantine regulations and bubble restrictions they will face down under.
England captain Joe Root was left bemused by the lack of detail in the initial presentation of protocols by Cricket Australia a week ago and his mood had only mildly improved by Tuesday’s follow-up with the Australian board’s chief executive Nick Hockley.
‘A tour of Australia is the pinnacle as an England Test cricketer,’ said Silverwood. ‘I am delighted that all of our available players have committed to the tour. We are looking forward to touring and enjoying the experience of this historic series.
‘This is why we play and coach to be involved in iconic series like this. More than half of our squad haven’t featured in an Ashes tour before, which means we will be fresh and looking to embrace the cricket and the excitement of touring one of the best places in the world.
Joe Root was angry at Cricket Australia’s initial bubble plans but is now satisfied with the trip
ENGLAND’S ASHES TOUR ITINERARY
4 November: Test specialists and Lions depart.
8-12 December: 1st Test, Australia v England, Gabba, Brisbane
16-20 December: 2nd Test, Australia v England (D/N), Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
26-30 December: 3rd Test, Australia v England, MCG, Melbourne
5-9 January: 4th Test, Australia v England, SCG, Sydney
14-18 January: 5th Test, Australia v England, Optus Stadium, Perth
‘I believe we have selected a well-balanced squad with options in all areas and a blend of youth and experience. There is real competition for places and a genuine desire to work hard and compete, aiming to create some history.
‘We are under no illusions about how difficult the task is going to be. Australia have been strong at home in the past, and there is an expectation on them to win this series. However, from our point of view, there is genuine excitement and belief that we can do something special.
‘Both teams are in similar positions in the Test world rankings. For that reason, it should be a compelling series. We can enjoy the build-up to the tour, get out there, and prepare well ahead of the first Test in Brisbane.
‘Having the Lions with the Ashes squad will be integral to our build-up. The extended group of players will be with us before the first Test. We will play two competitive warm-up games amongst both squads to give us the match practice we need as part of our build-up.
‘It’s an excellent opportunity to connect the Lions into the England environment and gain a good understanding of what is required to play at the highest level.’
The news follows the announcement that England’s central contracts system has moved to a new structure for 2021-22 and beyond.
Seamer Stuart Broad will return for England after picking up a right calf injury earlier this year
Ben Stokes (right) and Sam Curran (left) have not been picked for this year’s Ashes tour
In all, 20 players received the new-look annual deals which run from October 1 and as revealed by Sportsmail last month are no longer split between Test and white-ball cricket.
Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson, Yorkshire’s Dawid Malan and Somerset’s slow left-armer Jack Leach were all first-time recipients, Lancashire all-rounder Liam Livingstone’s performances have been recognised as one of four to be handed increment contracts while Craig Overton, Saqib Mahmood and Stone all remain on ECB pace bowling contracts.
Multi-format players can earn up to £850,000-per-year as a basic salary and break the million-pound barrier if England are successful – with match fees and win bonuses remaining at the same level as 2020-21.
England are currently in line to fly out to Australia on November 4, with the first Test in Brisbane to begin on December 8.
ENGLAND’S SQUAD ANALYSED
By Lawrence Booth for MailOnline
England’s captain and the world’s No 1 Test batsman will need to reproduce the form that has brought him 1,455 runs in 2021 – over 500 clear of the pack.
Four scores of 50-plus – and England’s Player of the Series against New Zealand – and five ducks reflect an inconsistent year.
Signs against India that he and Burns were forming an opening partnership. May need to up his tempo, and beware the bouncy Australian pitches.
Scored 70 in his first Test for three years at Headingley, and averaged over 40 on the last Ashes trip. Could provide solidity at No 3.
Dropped after the first Test against India, and averages 11 since his 267 against Pakistan. But his back-foot game may suit Australian pitches.
At 32, this will be his last Ashes tour. Easy to forget his hundred at Perth last time because of the fuss made over the so-called headbutt of Cameron Bancroft.
Supremely gifted, but needs to turn that talent into consistent Test runs. Should enjoy Australian conditions.
Still finding his feet at Test level, but enjoyed a superb tour of Australia with the Lions two winters ago.
Finally committed to the tour after concerns about quarantine, and must prove he’s the No 1 keeper-batsman after playing in just six of 12 Tests this year.
A high-class all-rounder reduced to bit-part status recently by a combination of Covid and circumstance. Needs to show he can hack it with the Kookaburra.
Perhaps fortunate to squeeze out Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson. Hasn’t played a Test since a difficult tour of India, but offers depth with the bat.
Historic tweets aside, he enjoyed a stellar first Test summer. His task now is to prove that the comparisons to Josh Hazlewood extend to Australian pitches.
Looks a better – and slightly faster – bowler than the one who toured Australia four years ago. But can England fit him in?
Not played a Test since he was England’s leading wicket-taker in India in March. But he is the spinner most likely to give Root control.
England’s last remaining fast-and-nasty quick bowler after injuries to Jofra Archer and Olly Stone. Fitness record suggests he won’t play more than three Tests.
Aiming to take part in his fifth series win against Australia, which will be more likely if he continues his 2019 hex over David Warner.
If he can reproduce his 2010-11 Ashes form (24 wickets at 26), England have a chance. Three other visits to Australia have brought 36 at 41.