Westley selected for Sri Lanka Lions Tour


Essex Vice-captain Tom Westley has been selected in the England Lions four-day squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in February and March.

Keaton Jennings will lead the England Lions for the series off the back of his recent debut hundred against India for the full squad.

Westley impressed in the recent tour match against Afghanistan in Dubai scoring 84 in the first-innings and earned praise from Graham Thorpe.

James Whitaker, the National Selector who watched the Lions beat Afghanistan in an historic first-class match in Abu Dhabi last week, said: “The Lions play such an important role in bridging the gap between county and international cricket, and after a successful training camp in the UAE culminating in an excellent win against Afghanistan, this tour of Sri Lanka is a great opportunity for the players to gain experience of playing on the subcontinent.

“Keaton Jennings impressed everyone on the Lions programme, with his leadership skills as well as his batting – he was named captain for their one-day games against the UAE, and scored a century in the first. That has already led to his call into the England Test set-up in India, but the Sri Lanka tour offers him the chance to gain further captaincy experience as well as playing some high-quality cricket in different and challenging conditions.

“Haseeb Hameed had also made such a promising start in Test cricket before it was cut short by injury. Like Keaton and Ben Duckett, who will be returning to the Lions after playing some brilliant innings for them in the home Tri-Series against Sri Lanka A and Pakistan A last summer, I know he will relish the chance of playing some quality cricket in Sri Lanka in the New Year.

“Congratulations also to Tom Helm and Josh Poysden. They have been on the selectors’ radar for a while as players of promise, and that’s why they were invited to join the Lions in training in Dubai – where they made a big impression on the Lions coaches.”

Details of the fixtures have still to be finalised with Sri Lanka Cricket, but will be published as soon as possible.

England Lions squads for Sri Lanka tour, February 6 – March 13

For first section, including four-day matches v Sri Lanka A: K Jennings (Durham, capt), H Hameed (Lancashire), N Gubbins (Middlesex), T Alsop (Hampshire), T Westley (Essex), J Clarke (Worcestershire), L Livingstone (Lancashire), B Foakes (Surrey), S Curran (Surrey), T Curran (Surrey), T Roland-Jones (Middlesex), T Helm (Middlesex), C Overton (Somerset), O Rayner (Middlesex), J Leach (Somerset).