Published: 12:29, 09 September 2021
| Updated: 15:00, 09 September 2021
Kent skipper Sam Billings has been included in England's preliminary 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup, which begins next month.
Head coach Chris Silverwood has until October 10 to finalise his squad for the tournament, which will be held in Oman and the United Arab Emirates from October 17-November 14.
The news is the perfect fillip for Billings, who will lead Kent Spitfires' bid for T20 Blast glory at finals day at Edgbaston next weekend.
The right-hander has played in 32 IT20s for England, with a top score of 87 against West Indies in 2019. He has an IT20 strike rate of 128.30.
England's first group fixture is against world champions West Indies on October 23. Before then, they are scheduled to play four warm-up matches including a two-match T20I series against Pakistan.
Both matches are due to take place at the Rawalpindi International Stadium on October 14-15.
England head coach Chris Silverwood said: "We are excited about the prospect of challenging to win the ICC T20 World Cup. I believe we have selected a squad that covers all bases and has the depth to be successful in what is expected to be a very competitive tournament featuring the best players in the world.
"Tymal Mills deserves his inclusion and has demonstrated over the past couple of years, but particularly this summer that he has all skills to succeed at this level. His exceptional pace is a standout, and the way he has spearheaded Sussex and Southern Brave's respective attacks in the short-form game has shown that he relishes the pressures of the big stage. He will add variety to our bowling unit, and we can't wait to see him play in a major international tournament."
England preliminary T20 World Cup squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) captain, Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Tymal Mills (Sussex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).
Travelling Reserves: Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), James Vince (Hampshire).