Bess named in England squad for first Windies test, Moeen left out

Ruben Hill
July 5, 2020

The England Cricket Board (ECB) on Saturday announced a 13-men squad for the first Test which will be played at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

The squad match at the end of the week involved teams captained by Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler.

Leach has been named as one of nine reserves for the match, while Ali - who has not played a Test since August - has been omitted entirely.

England squad for 1st Test: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England's regular Test captain Joe Root, who is away from cricket citing personal reasons, will be replaced by Ben Stokes.

Pace bowlers James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes will vie for what are likely to be three places in the team.

Perhaps the biggest omission from the squad is World-Cup hero, Johnny Bairstow, who also does not feature among the nine reserves named as backup.

Watch England's behind-closed-doors #raisethebat Test series against West Indies live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 10.30am on Wednesday.

Reserves: J Bracey (Gloucestershire), S Curran (Surrey), B Foakes (Surrey), D Lawrence (Essex), J Leach (Somerset), S Mahmood (Lancashire), C Overton (Somerset), O Robinson (Sussex), O Stone (Warwickshire).

Bairstow, like Moeen, could not do enough in the practice match to force his way into the reckoning.

Denly, 34, has been retained despite averaging just 30 in his 14 Tests to date and not yet hitting a century - his highest score so far is the 94 he struck in the final Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval last summer. This will be the first worldwide cricket match since March 13 - when Australia and New Zealand had played an ODI - and the first Test match since India's tour of New Zealand in February.

That left Leach as England's first-choice spinner, but when he fell ill during the winter, Somerset team-mate Bess impressed in the series win in South Africa and keeps his place.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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