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Zak Crawley retains place in England's new-look Test squad which will face New Zealand despite slow start to the summer with the bat for Kent


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Kent batsman Zak Crawley has kept his place in England’s 13-man Test squad to face New Zealand despite a slow start to the summer.

Crawley has been picked in the first squad selected by former Kent captain Rob Key since he was appointed as England’s new managing director last month, with all-rounder Ben Stokes the new skipper and Brendon McCullum England's new Test coach.

Kent's Zak Crawley has kept his spot in England's 13-man Test squad to take on New Zealand. Picture: Keith Gillard
Kent's Zak Crawley has kept his spot in England's 13-man Test squad to take on New Zealand. Picture: Keith Gillard

He averages only 19.50 in the County Championship this summer. He has one half-century to his name, against Lancashire, and has scored 156 runs in eight innings but already has won 21 Test caps.

The squad for the first two Tests will come together for the first time next week before reporting to Lord's on May 29, ahead of the first Test on June 2 against the world champions.

Key said: “This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben and Brendon.

“With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month's Test series.”

Yorkshire batter Harry Brook and Durham seamer Matthew Potts are called up for the first time.

Brook has been one of the stand-out batsmen in Division 1 of the County Championship, scoring 758 runs at an average of 151.60, which includes three centuries and four half-centuries.

Potts, 23, has also been in impressive form. He is the season's leading bowler, with 35 wickets and four five-wicket hauls, including his most recent return of 7-40 in Durham's win over Glamorgan.

The experienced seam duo of Lancashire's James Anderson and Nottinghamshire's Stuart Broad return to the squad too.

“We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the county season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level,” added Key.

“It promises to be a mouth-watering series, and I can't wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side.

It is the first squad announced since former Kent skipper Rob Key was appointed England's managing director. Picture: ECB/Getty Images
It is the first squad announced since former Kent skipper Rob Key was appointed England's managing director. Picture: ECB/Getty Images

“It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country.”

England play New Zealand at Lord’s from June 2 before playing at Trent Bridge from June 10.

After three one-day internationals against The Netherlands, England then face New Zealand in the final Test of the series at Headingley from June 23.

The three-match Test series forms part of the ICC World Test Championship.

At the end of the two-year cycle, the top two teams will compete in the ICC World Test Championship Final due to be staged in the summer of 2023.

England: Ben Stokes (Durham), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Harry Brook (Yorkshire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Jack Leach (Somerset), Alex Lees (Durham), Craig Overton (Somerset), Matthew Potts (Durham), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Joe Root (Yorkshire).

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