LONDON: England have named their squad for the one-off Test against Ireland, starting June 1 at Lord’s.
The 15-man squad will be led by Ben Stokes with right-hand batter Ollie Pope named as the vice-captain.
England will be bolstered with the return of wicketkeeper-batter Jonny Bairstow, who was out of action since August last year after a golf accident left him with a broken left leg and dislocated ankle.
With Bairstow back in the side, Ben Foakes has been left out of the squad. Also missing will be Jofra Archer after being ruled out for the remaining summer with a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow.
Making a return are fast bowlers Mark Wood and Chris Woakes, the latter coming back in the Test squad for the first time since March 2022 and if selected, it will be his first Test on home soil in the last two years.
Another positive for England is the inclusion of James Anderson, who picked up an injury while bowling on the opening day of Lancashire’s County clash against Somerset.
The England and Wales Cricket Board had said that they will assess his fitness before the Ireland Test and his inclusion bodes well for the hosts.
“We are looking forward to the summer ahead and getting into the swing of things, starting with a good test against Ireland,” said Rob Key, ECB Managing Director for England Men’s Cricket.
“It was a seriously tough decision to leave Ben Foakes out of the squad. He has been excellent for England in the last year, but Jonny Bairstow is one of the best players in the world whose performances last summer epitomised what we are about.
“It has been a frustrating and upsetting period for Jofra Archer. He was making good progress until a recurrence of the elbow injury, which kept him out for an extended period previously. We wish him the best of luck with his recovery. I’m sure we will see Jofra back to his best and winning games for England, whatever the format. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.
“I would like to wish the players every success, especially those returning after some time away,” he concluded.
The four-day Test will be played from June 1 to 4 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, London and will only be the second Test between the two nations. Interestingly, the first one, played in 2019 was also a four-day affair, which England won by 143 runs.
With the home Ashes against Australia beginning on June 16, England will be looking forward to getting some game time before facing their arch-rivals.
Squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.