LONDON: Veteran English fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad returned to the side as England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) named a strong 13-members squad for the first two Tests of the summer season against New Zealand.
England, which will be on their first assignment with the new captain Ben Stokes and the head coach Brendon McCullum have recalled their experienced pacers Anderson and Broad. Whereas, Yorkshire batter Harry Brook and Durham seamer Matthew Potts are called up for the first time.
Brook and Potts are the leading English batter and bowler respectively in the ongoing County Championship 2022. The right-handed batter Brook has so far scored 758 runs at an average of 151.60, including three centuries and four half-centuries.
Potts, on the other hand, has also been impressive as the right-arm pacer is the season’s leading bowler with 35 wickets and four five-wicket hauls.
Rob Key, the Managing Director of the England Cricket termed the ongoing period as the ‘New Era’ for England and claimed to have named a strong squad with a blend of experience and youth.
“This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben [Stokes] and Brendon [McCullum]. With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month’s Test series,” Key said.
“We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level.
“It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can’t wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side. It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country,” he concluded.
The three-match Test series is a part of the ICC World Test Championship. The England team will be looking to climb the rankings after a disappointing start to the second edition of the Championship. The side currently holds the ninth position following their series defeats against Australia and West Indies.
Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root