Lions name strong side for Australia clash

Eoin Morgan, pictured with England batting coach Graham Gooch, will captain the England Lions at Northampton this week
Eoin Morgan, pictured with England batting coach Graham Gooch, will captain the England Lions at Northampton this week

Eoin Morgan will captain a talented England Lions team when they take on Australia at the County Ground this week.

The national ‘A’ team are filling the fixture after Northamptonshire reached the Friends Life t20 finals day on Saturday.

Ashley Giles will coach the side which includes three Lions debutants. Warwickshire fast bowler Keith Barker, Yorkshire batsman Alex Lees and Sussex batsman Luke Wells.

The side will include a number of players who have represented England before at a senior level, across different formats. These include the captain Morgan, Gary Ballance, Jos Butler, James Harris, Simon Kerrigan, Liam Plunkett and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes.

National selector Geoff Miller said: “Northamptonshire’s progression to the t20 Finals Day has presented us with a great opportunity to field a strong Lions team to face the Australian’s at Wantage Road.

“We have looked to reward the players from the County circuit who have performed well this season and will look to push for places in future England squads with this fixture.

“With the Friends Life t20 Finals day running over the weekend of this fixture, we have been unable to select from any of the sides involved in that competition for obvious reasons, plus there are a number of other domestic fixtures that run very closely to this Lions game, so for practical reasons we had to recognise that a number of counties’ players were unavailable.

“As is always the case with these fixtures, they are an excellent marker for judging the level of these players at a very high international standard and we look forward to seeing the team perform strongly against the Australian opposition.”

England Lions: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Moeen Ali (Worcester), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Keith Barker (Warwickshire), Jos Buttler (Somerset), James Harris (Middlesex), Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire), Alex Lees (Yorkshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Luke Wells (Sussex).