Root called up by Lions to take on Sri Lanka

Copyright Dave Williams
Copyright Dave Williams

SHEFFIELD batsman Joe Root has been named in the England Lions squad for a four-day match against Sri Lanka A at Scarborough next week.

The 20-year-old Sheffield Collegiate batsman, who has broken into the Yorkshire first-team after making his debut last season, joins county colleague Jonathan Bairstow in the 12-man squad for the fixture, which begins on Tuesday.

Root is one of five players included in the party who have yet to play for the England Lions, alongside Alex Hales of Nottinghamshire, Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick, Surrey bowler Stuart Meaker and Northamptonshire’s Jack Brooks.

The four-day squad, led by Leicestershire’s James Taylor, also includes England players Ravi Bopara, Craig Kieswetter and Ravi Bopara.

“The England Lions series against Sri Lanka A offers an important opportunity for younger players to gain valuable experience against international opposition and push for further involvement in England programmes this winter,” Geoff Miller, National selector, said.

“The series will also give players a chance to press for inclusion in the upcoming NatWest Series against India.” As a result of his call-up, Root and wicket-keeper Bairstow will miss Yorkshire’s trip to the Rose Bowl to face Hampshire in the County Championship, beginning on Tuesday.

Former England Under-19 opener Root has recent happy memories of batting at the idyllic North Marine Road at Scarborough, Yorkshire’s coastal outground.

Earlier this month he hit an unbeaten 52, after being run out without facing a ball in the first innings, as Yorkshire beat Worcestershire by six wickets.

England Lions 4 day squad vs Sri Lanka A - Scarborough, August 2-5: James Taylor (Leicestershire, captain), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Scott Borthwick (Durham), Jack Brooks (Northants), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), James Harris (Glamorgan), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset), Stuart Meaker (Surrey), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire).