England have recalled spinner Monty Panesar to their squad for the winter Ashes tour of Australia along with three uncapped players.
Panesar has not played for his country since a well-publicised incident with bouncers at a Brighton nightclub but has been recalled after a spell on loan at Essex.
Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, Warwickshire’s former Ireland bowler Boyd Rankin and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes are the three players in the 17-man party who have yet to play Test cricket.
Panesar was allowed to leave Sussex on loan after being fined by police for urinating on bouncers after being thrown out of the nightclub on
National selector Geoff Miller is confident the left-armer is back on the right track and said: “There’s a very strong management in that side to help all aspects of it. He’s appreciated he’s made errors and he’s very sure that those errors are behind him now.
“He appreciated the reason why he was sent home, accepted that and knuckled down. He’s been selected because that’s been rectified. He’s an experienced international player and it’s up to him to actually produce the goods for us. He’s very prepared to let his bowling do the talking for him, so I’m prepared to accept that.”
Stokes, and in particular Rankin, impressed in the recent one-day series against Australia but Miller stressed that county performances were also crucial.
Regarding Rankin, he said: “It’s not just the one-day performances, he’s performed very well for Warwickshire. That was why he got his selection for the one-dayers and he showed what he can do.
“He’s a very difficult person to bat against so I think in Australian conditions he'll be very, very difficult for them and a threat for us.”
Ballance’s international experience extends to a two-ball duck in a one-day international against Ireland but Miller insisted at a press conference in the Lord's Long Room: “There are no left-field selections. He’s played very well for Yorkshire so it’s not a left-field selection, it's considered.”
He appeared to suggest, though, that Stokes was less likely to play an immediate role. “It’s not just about picking the side,” he said. “You obviously pick players to win the series but we have to think about the future as well, the immediate future and a bit further on.
“He’s proved over the last year or so that he’s developing his game rapidly, he's an exciting prospect. He comes into the squad to feel the atmosphere and we know he’s capable of doing a job for us in the all-rounder position.”
In the battle to provide back-up to first-choice openers Alastair Cook and Joe Root, England opted for Michael Carberry over Nick Compton. Compton made two centuries in his nine Test appearances before losing his place in the squad following a disappointing series against New Zealand earlier this year, with Root promoted up the order.
Compton, 30, was back amongst the runs this summer after returning to Somerset but that was not enough to earn him an England recall, with 32-year-old Hampshire left-hander Carberry, whose sole Test appearance came against Bangladesh in 2010, getting the nod.
Miller said it had been a difficult decision but they wanted to try to cover all bases.
Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire, wkt), Matt Prior (Sussex, wkt), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Monty Panesar (Essex), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Chris Tremlett (Surrey)
Oct 25: England arrive, Perth
Oct 31-Nov 02: Three-day warm-up v Western Australia, WACA, Perth
Nov 06-09: Four-day warm-up v Australia A, Blundstone Arena, Hobart
Nov 13-16: Four-day warm-up v v New South Wales XI, Sydney Cricket Ground
Nov 21-25: 1ST TEST, The Gabba, Brisbane
Nov 29-30: Two-day warm-up v Chairman's XI, Traeger Park, Alice Springs
Dec 05-09: 2ND TEST, Adelaide Oval
Dec 13-17: 3RD TEST, WACA, Perth
Dec 26-30: 4TH TEST, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Jan 03-07: 5TH TEST, Sydney Cricket Ground
One-day international series
Jan 12: 1ST ODI, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Jan 17: 2ND ODI, Gabba, Brisbane
Jan 19: 3RD ODI, Sydney Cricket Ground
Jan 24: 4TH ODI, WACA, Perth
Jan 26: 5TH ODI, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Twenty20 international series
Jan 29: 1ST T20, Blundstone Arena, Hobart
Jan 31: 2ND T20, Melbourne Cricket Ground
Feb 02: 3RD T20, Stadium Australia, Sydney
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