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Kent trio Sam Billings, Zak Crawley and Joe Denly are asked to return to training as part of 55-man England squad while county side also announce that Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi won't now be returning for the Spitfires

A trio of Kent county cricketers have been asked to return to training in preparation for England’s potential behind doors internationals.

Kent captain Sam Billings along with Zak Crawley and Joe Denly have been asked to prepare along with over 50 others.

Kent's Zak Crawley has been asked to train as part of a 55-man England squad
Kent's Zak Crawley has been asked to train as part of a 55-man England squad

The ECB are hoping England’s men can return to action soon, subject to UK Government clearance.

Kent furloughed the majority of their playing staff at the start of April but they kept Sam Billings on, after a pay cut, while Denly was covered under an England Central Contract.

The ECB say they are continuing to work closely with their county partners “to provide a safe and efficient return to practice for players, and is grateful for the support of the counties in assisting with the coaching provision across this period.”

Squads for specific formats are to be announced later.

Joe Denly in action for Kent against Warwickshire
Joe Denly in action for Kent against Warwickshire

England are due to host three Tests against West Indies behind closed doors this summer and will then face one-day internationals against Ireland before hosting Pakistan.

ECB performance director Mo Bobat said: “It’s really pleasing to be in a position to have players returning to training and a huge amount of work has been done by many to get us this far.

“The pool of players will give selectors strong options when it comes to selecting squads across formats further down the line, as we move closer to our aim of playing international cricket this summer.

“We will need to continue to work closely with our medical team and government to ensure that our return to training and play activities are in line with best-practice guidelines.

“We’re also really grateful for the positive and collaborative response from our county colleagues who are doing a great job at facilitating coaching and support for the players. The fact that we can call on our network to support the national effort shows the strength of our system.”

Kent, meanwhile, have said Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi will not now be returning to the Kent Spitfires for the 2020 Vitality Blast.

Director of cricket Paul Downton said: "There was a lot of excitement around Nabi returning as a Kent Spitfire in 2020, but unfortunately the uncertainty around the cricket schedule during this current crisis means that this isn't possible this year.

Mohammad Nabi won't be returning to Kent this summer Picture: Ady Kerry
Mohammad Nabi won't be returning to Kent this summer Picture: Ady Kerry

"He was very popular amongst the squad, staff and supporters here last season and it was great to bring his experience to the Club first time around.

"Hopefully there will be an opportunity for Nabi to join us again in the near future."

Earlier this week the ECB announced that professional cricket wouldn't return before August.

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