Northants spinner Graeme White gets England Lions call

ENGLAND LIONS CALL - Graeme White
ENGLAND LIONS CALL - Graeme White
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Northants left-arm spinner Graeme White has been added to the England Lions squad for the one-day series against Sri Lanka A in March.

White was a key member of the Steelbacks team that won the NatWest T20 Blast last season, and also reached the quarter-finals of the Royal London One Day Cup.

The 29-year-old fills a vacancy for a left-arm spinner that had been left by the selectors in December when they named separate squads for the one-day series and the two four-day matches against Sri Lanka A that precede it next month.

He joins Northants team-mate Ben Duckett in the Lions squad.

Durham’s Mark Wood has also been added to the tour party, with the fast bowler currently in South Africa with England cricket’s Pace Programme, as part of his return to cricket after an ankle operation last autumn.

White had already been included in the North squad for the three-match 50-over series against the South in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that will follow the Lions one-day series in Sri Lanka.

James Whitaker, England cricket’s National Selector, said: “We believe these selections will work well both for the Lions and for the players involved.

“We had always been planning to add a left-arm spinner to the 14 players we named last month for the one-day series, and Graeme White deserves this chance after his performances for Northamptonshire in county cricket last summer which had already earned him a place in the North team through the PCA’s Most Valuable Player rankings.”

White joined the Lions in their final preparations for Sri Lanka at England cricket’s Performance Centre in Loughborough last week.

The 15-man Lions squad for the two four-day matches against Sri Lanka A in Kandy and Dambulla, which will be preceded by a three-day warm-up match at a venue still to be finalised, will leave for Colombo next Monday (February 6).

The six players who have been selected for the one-day leg of the tour only – Daniel Bell-Drummond, Duckett, James Fuller, Josh Poysden, White and Wood – will join the squad later in the month in Dambulla, the venue for the second four-day match and the first two matches of the one-day series.

England Lions squad for 50-over series v Sri Lanka A: K Jennings (Durham, capt), D Bell-Drummond (Kent), T Alsop (Hampshire), B Duckett (Northamptonshire), J Clarke (Worcestershire), L Livingstone (Lancashire), B Foakes (Surrey), S Curran (Surrey), T Curran (Surrey), C Overton (Somerset), T Helm (Middlesex), J Fuller (Middlesex), O Rayner (Middlesex), J Poysden (Warwickshire), G White (Northamptonshire), M Wood (Durham).

Itinerary

One-day series v Sri Lanka A: March 2, 4 (both Dambulla), 6 (Kurunegala), 9, 11 (both Colombo – Premadasa)

North v South series: March 17, 19 (both Dubai), 21 (Abu Dhabi)