NEW England director of cricket Peter Moores named uncapped fast bowler Harry Gurney in the squad for this month’s one-day international against Scotland.
Test captain Alastair Cook will lead the side and batsman Joe Root returns after missing the Twenty20 World Cup due to a thumb injury, for the match at Mannofield in Aberdeen a week today.
“The start of the international summer is always incredibly exciting for everyone involved in England cricket and it has been pleasing to see so many players in good form early on this season,” national selector James Whitaker said in an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement. “On behalf of the selectors, I would like to wish new coach Peter Moores, Alastair Cook and the whole squad all the best for a good performance against Scotland in what we know will be a very competitive fixture.”
There are no shock omissions, although Michael Lumb might feel aggrieved after making a century on his ODI debut in February, and Alex Hales may have fancied his chances in the 50-over format having hit England’s first Twenty20 hundred in an otherwise miserable tournament in Bangladesh. Steven Finn, meanwhile, has been left out once again as he strives to find both top form and consistency.
Lumb and Hales both play under Mick Newell at Nottinghamshire, while Finn is a protégé of Angus Fraser at Middlesex, and the omission of all three is an early indication that there will be no conflict of interest from England’s two new selectors.
Finn’s continued absence, while not unexpected, leaves Moores’ one-day pace options limited.
Gurney is one of only three specialist seamers, alongside James Anderson, back on one-day duty for the first time since last summer, and seven-cap Chris Jordan. Stuart Broad’s persistent patella tendinitis rules him out, while Tim Bresnan has yet to play first-team cricket for Yorkshire this season.
Fast bowling all-rounder Ben Stokes is recovering from the broken wrist sustained when he punched a locker in the Caribbean, opening the door for Chris Woakes’ return.
The squad announcement came at the end of another turbulent day for English cricket after Graham Gooch was sacked as batting coach with immediate effect.
The former England captain joined the team as a consultant in late 2009 before taking up a full-time role in early 2012. His departure was announced two weeks after Moores returned as England coach in place of Andy Flower, who resigned following the whitewash Down Under in January.
“After discussions with Alastair Cook, he informed me that he was in favour of change,” Gooch, 60, said in an ECB statement.
“Although this was sad news, I respect his, and new coach Peter Moores’, right to implement this change of direction.”
A veteran of 118 Tests, in which he scored 8,900 runs, Gooch said Cook was still the best man to lead England despite presiding over the 5-0 Ashes rout. “In my opinion Alastair is the right man to captain England. He commands respect and will always put his body on the line for his country,” Gooch said. “He will face many challenges and have many more tough decisions to make before his journey ends.”
ECB managing director Paul Downton thanked Gooch for being an “outstanding coach”.
“I have no doubt that we will continue to see his influence on this current generation of England players, and future generations can learn a lot from his passion and dedication to the game,” he said.
A Cook (Essex, captain)
M Ali (Worcestershire)
J Anderson (Lancashire)
G Ballance (Yorkshire)
I Bell (Warwickshire)
R Bopara (Essex)
J Buttler (Lancashire)
H Gurney (Nottinghamshire)
C Jordan (Sussex)
E Morgan (Middlesex)
J Root (Yorkshire),
J Tredwell (Kent)
C Woakes (Warwickshire).