England name strong squad for Ashes tour to Australia

Joe Root will captain the side, with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler vice-captain for the five-match series which begins in Brisbane on 8 December.

All 17 players have been capped at Test level.

"I am delighted that all of our available players have committed to the tour," said England head coach Chris Silverwood.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had only announced on Friday that the tour would go ahead following player concerns over Covid protocols.

Rory Burns, Dawid Malan, Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow join Root as the frontline batters.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson are among England's pace bowling options, with Jack Leach and Dom Bess the spinners.

Dan Lawrence, who can also bowl spin, will contest a spot in the middle order alongside Ollie Pope, Buttler and all-rounder Chris Woakes.

All-rounder Ben Stokes is not included as he recovers from surgery on an index finger having taken an indefinite break from cricket in July to protect his mental health.

Fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Olly Stone are also absent, as they recover from elbow and back injuries respectively, along with left-arm seamer Sam Curran. All-rounder Moeen Ali recently retired from Test cricket.

Broad, who will be on a fourth Ashes tour, is still recovering from a torn right calf but "making excellent progress", the ECB said.

"We are under no illusions about how difficult the task is going to be," said Silverwood.

"Australia have been strong at home in the past, and there is an expectation on them to win this series. However, from our point of view, there is genuine excitement and belief that we can do something special."

The players will be shadowed by a yet-to-be-selected England Lions squad who will provide cover for the two months during the tour.

Both squads will head to Australia on 4 November, while players on Twenty20 World Cup duty in the United Arab Emirates will join the tour after their tournament commitments.

England are looking to regain the Ashes after Australia retained them in England following a 2-2 draw in 2019.

England squad for Ashes tour of Australia

Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain, James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire) wk, Zak Crawley (Kent), Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

There had been suggestions some players would make themselves unavailable for the winter tour and England would be forced to send a weakened squad.

Concerns had centred on whether the families of players would be allowed to travel, quarantine arrangements and the nature of the 'bubble' environment.

A number of England's players – including Buttler, Wood and Woakes – have young families.

Root and Buttler had expressed their unease with some of Australia's Covid-19 protocols, which are among the strictest in the world.

But following negotiations with Cricket Australia, the ECB was able to confirm the tour "subject to several critical conditions".

It is thought those conditions relate to concessions being made to allow players' families to travel.

However, Australia's borders do remain closed to overseas visitors – meaning there will be no England fans allowed to travel to cheer on the tourists.

This squad has been chosen in the assumption that the unspecified critical conditions will be met by the Australian authorities. We are told that discussions are continuing positively.

Ben Stokes wasn't available for selection, and while there are other notable absentees through injury, Stuart Broad is making good recovery from his calf injury.

Mark Wood is the only bowler with genuine pace and will need to be handled carefully, while Broad, James Anderson, Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton complete the pace attack.

Zak Crawley returns after losing his place in the summer, but there's no room for Dom Sibley. England Lions will be touring at the same time, not least to provide opposition in the preparation period of five weeks, which will include quarantine.

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