A month long England Lions tour of Sri Lanka will commence next week with the Keaton Jennings led English team scheduled to play two four-day matches and five one-day encounters against Sri Lanka A.
The official press conference was held today (8th) in Colombo but the hosts are yet to announce the playing squad or the captain.
Head Coach Avishka Gunawardena said that a squad of 20 is currently in training but with the chopping and changing of the national team in South Africa, the selectors are still unable to pick the final 15.
“The four-day club tournament is happening these days so most of the players are engaged in competitive cricket. I believe the selected squad will be in great shape ahead of a very important series. There is a possibility for some of the U19 players also to be in the squad.” Gunawardena said.
England Lions will be coached by former Zimbabwe wicket-keeper batsman, Andy Flower and he stated that his team is well-prepared for the challenge, “We had a two-week training camp in Dubai prior to this series and the practice game will surely help the players to acclimatize to the conditions. Sri Lanka is never an easy place to tour, I hope we could play positive cricket throughout the tour” Flower said.
The practice match will be played between the Sri Lanka Cricket President’s XI and England Lions on 12th, 13th and 14th at Tyronne Fernando Stadium in Moratuwa. The first of the four-day encounters are scheduled to be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium while the other will be played at the Dambulla International Cricket Stadium.
There are also five one-day matches scheduled of which two are to be played at Dambulla, while the 3rd match is scheduled to be played at Kurunegala and the final two matches are to be played at CCC respectively.
England Lions four-day squad: Keaton Jennings (captain), Haseeb Hameed, Nick Gubbins, Tom Alsop, Tom Westley, Joe Clarke, Liam Livingstone, Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Toby Roland-Jones, Tom Helm, Craig Overton, Ollie Rayner, Jack Leach.
England Lions 50-over squad: Keaton Jennings (captain), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Tom Alsop, Ben Duckett, Joe Clarke, Liam Livingstone, Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Craig Overton, Tom Helm, James Fuller, Ollie Rayner, Josh Poysden.
February 17-20 – First four-day match at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
February 24-27 – Second four-day match at Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium
March 2nd – 1st One-Day match at Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium
March 4th – 2nd One-Day match at Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium
March 6th – 3rd One-Day match at Kurunegala Cricket Stadium
March 9th – 4th One-Day match at CCC Grounds – Colombo
March 11th – 5th One-Day match at CCC Grounds-Colombo