England have dropped no less than eight players from the squad that suffered a heavy 4-0 Ashes defeat for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, with pace duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad notable absentees.
In the aftermath of that loss Down Under, England had already made big changes at the top, with head coach Chris Silverwood, director of cricket Ashley Giles and assistant coach Graham Thorpe all leaving their roles.
Andrew Strauss was named as the team’s interim managing director, while Paul Collingwood was installed as interim head coach for the three-Test series in the West Indies (12/1 – Cricket World Cup 2023 Outright) next month.
England’s squad for the series was announced on Tuesday and there have been some big calls named by the temporary management, none more so than to leave out both Anderson and Broad.
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Lancashire seamer Anderson is his country’s all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests with 640 dismissals in 169 matches, while Broad is second on the list with 537 wickets in 152 matches.
Strauss insists this doesn’t spell the end for the pace bowlers, telling BBC Sport: “I want to emphasise this does not mean the end for them as England players.
“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.”
Along with Anderson and Broad, England (3/1 – Cricket World Cup 2023 Outright) have also dropped Dom Bess, Sam Billings, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan from the recent Ashes squad.
Durham opener Alex Lees and Yorkshire seamer Matthew Fisher have been called up for the first time, while Lancashire bowler Saqib Mahmood and spinner Matthew Parkinson have been included and will be aiming to make their Test debuts.
There is also a spot in the squad for wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, who returns to the England set-up and will be hoping to stake his claim for the gloves as question remain over both Buttler and Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps.
England squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain, Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Matthew Fisher (Yorkshire), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Alex Lees (Durham), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)
England will contest a Tour match against opponents yet to be decided from March 1-4 before the first Test, which takes place in Antigua, gets started on March 8.
Barbados is the setting for the second Test, from March 16-20, before the finale in Grenada from March 24-28.
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