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Zak Crawley retains place in England squad for tour of West Indies


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Kent batsman Zak Crawley has retained his place in the England squad for the tour of the West Indies.

The 24-year-old is part of a new-look 16-man squad which features Durham opener Alex Lees and Yorkshire seamer Matthew Fisher for the first time. It means there is no place for Kent captain Sam Billings - who made his debut in the fifth Test against Australia last month.

Zak Crawley - retained in the England squad for the tour of the West Indies in March. Picture: Ady Kerry
Zak Crawley - retained in the England squad for the tour of the West Indies in March. Picture: Ady Kerry

Crawley averaged 27.66 in the three Tests he played during the recent Ashes series in Australia, with a top score of 77.

Along with Billings, seven other players who featured in the Ashes are overlooked for the tour - Jimmy Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed and Dawid Malan.

Interim managing director Sir Andrew Strauss said: "With the start of a new cycle, it has allowed the selection panel to refresh the Test squad with a particular focus on competing away from home.

"We felt that it was time to draw a line after the Ashes defeat, look forward and give some impetus with an influx of new players.

"In respect of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, I want to emphasise this does not mean the end for them as England players. We feel that it is important to look at some exciting new bowling potential and give some added responsibility to other players who have featured previously. No one doubts the quality and experience that James and Stuart bring to the England set-up. It will be up to the new managing director and permanent head coach to decide on whether they will be involved this summer and beyond.

"The selection of this squad is the start of a process and a journey to get England Test cricket back to where it needs to be, and the hard work starts now."

The three-match Test series against the West Indies gets under way in Antigua on March 8.

Squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain, Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Matthew Fisher (Yorkshire), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Alex Lees (Durham), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

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