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Kent's Joe Denly and Zak Crawley retain places in England squad for tour of Sri Lanka

Kent duo Joe Denly and Zak Crawley have retained their places in the England squad for next month's tour of Sri Lanka.

England have named a 16-man squad for the two-match Test series, which includes opener Keaton Jennings and Surrey's Ben Foakes.

Kent's Joe Denly has six Test match half-centuries to his name for England. Picture: PA Wire
Kent's Joe Denly has six Test match half-centuries to his name for England. Picture: PA Wire

Denly has 14 Test appearances to his name, averaging 30 with the bat after making just one half-century in four matches during the South Africa tour at the turn of the year.

Crawley, who turned 22 last week, scored his maiden Test half-century in Johannesburg at the end of January and averages just over 27 from his first four matches at that level.

England have left out seamer Jimmy Anderson and Jonny Bairstow from the Sri Lanka squad.

National selector Ed Smith said: “The selection panel has supported continuity after a successful series victory in South Africa.

"The South Africa tour marked the emergence of a very exciting group of young players, creating a nice balance with an experienced core of senior players.

Kent's Zak Crawley - retained his place in the England Test squad. Picture: Ady Kerry
Kent's Zak Crawley - retained his place in the England Test squad. Picture: Ady Kerry

"That squad is mostly retained, with some tweaks to the squad relevant to injury, rest and the challenges of playing in sub-continent conditions."

England will play two warm-up matches before the first Test in Galle on March 19 - three days after Denly's 34th birthday. The second Test in Colombo gets under way on March 27.

England squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain, Dominic Bess (Somerset), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Jack Leach (Somerset), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Dominic Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent


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