Cricket: Trio called in as new era begins

England fans can begin to put faces to the rebuilding process after Moeen Ali, Stephen Parry and Harry Gurney were handed maiden call-ups.

Moeen Ali

Worcestershire batsman Moeen and Lancashire spinner Parry, 26 and 28 respectively, feature among a squad of 15 that will contest the limited-overs tour of West Indies later this month before going on to the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh in March.

Gurney, Nottinghamshire's 27-year-old left-arm seamer, will get his chance in the Caribbean before returning home.

The trio are the first beneficiaries of England's winter of upheaval, with Moeen filling the void left by Kevin Pietersen's absence, Parry profiting from Graeme Swann's retirement and Gurney handed the chance to permanently overtake recent strugglers Chris Tremlett, Boyd Rankin and even Steven Finn.

National selector James Whitaker, announcing his first squads since taking over from Geoff Miller, said: "We would like to congratulate Moeen Ali and Stephen Parry on their selection for the tour to the Caribbean and then to represent England in the ICC World Twenty20. It is an exciting opportunity for Moeen and Stephen and all the England players.

"Both Moeen and Stephen have been very consistent performers for Worcestershire and Lancashire, and both counties and their coaching staffs must take credit for their continued progress.

"Harry Gurney, under the guidance of the excellent coaches at Trent Bridge, has performed well for Nottinghamshire in limited-overs cricket - showing good control with the white ball and, as a left-arm quick, brings some variety to the tour party.

"England have won the ICC World Twenty20 before - in 2010 in the Caribbean - and this group has an exciting mix of youth and Twenty20 experience and I am sure with good preparation, desire and determination they will be able to produce an exciting brand of cricket."

Moeen was perhaps the least surprising of the call-ups, having been a feature of England Lions and EPP squads and scored more than 2,000 runs in all formats for the Pears last season.

He was the LV= County Championship's top scorer with 1,375 at 62.50 and has long looked ready for the step up to international cricket.

In Twenty20 terms, his canny off-spin makes him an attractive all-round option in Bangladesh.

Reflecting on the reasons for his call-up, Moeen told Sky Sports News: "I think maybe I've just matured a bit. I went back to basics, did the right things and thankfully I've been rewarded with the England Lions and now the England call-up.

"This is the best I've ever batted. I feel like I've grown up as a cricketer and I know my game much better now: I'm ready to play."

Parry will be hoping for a better introduction to international cricket that his Red Rose team-mate Simon Kerrigan managed endured in last summer's Ashes.

Kerrigan floundered badly at the Kia Oval, but Parry is simply excited to have his chance.

"It goes without saying that I was absolutely delighted to have received the call from James Whitaker. I am still in a bit of shock," he said.

"It's always an ambition to play for your country and being in the squad brings that dream a step closer to reality.

"I've worked hard on my cricket over the years and I must thank Lancashire for all the time and effort they have spent in developing me as a player."

The rest of the squad was largely as expected, though Jade Dernbach may consider himself fortunate after appearing off the pace during the recent T20 series in Australia.

England squad for one-day and Twenty20 tour of the Caribbean and the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh:

S Broad (Nottinghamshire, capt), E Morgan (Middlesex), M Ali (Worcestershire), R Bopara (Essex), T Bresnan (Yorkshire), J Buttler (Lancashire), J Dernbach (Surrey), H Gurney (Nottinghamshire)*, A Hales (Nottinghamshire), C Jordan (Sussex), M Lumb (Nottinghamshire), S Parry (Lancashire), J Root (Yorkshire), B Stokes (Durham), J Tredwell (Kent), L Wright (Sussex).

*Only selected for Caribbean tour. Will return home before World Twenty20.



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