England’s two most-successful Test bowlers among eight players culled from Ashes touring party
Strauss, England’s interim managing director, said that the newly convened selectors, who reportedly took input from the Test captain, Joe Root, wanted to “draw a line” under the defeat in Australia, but stressed the call to omit Anderson and Broad “does not mean the end for them as England players”, with that decision set to confront the new management team that the ECB will hope to have installed by the summer.
“With the start of a new cycle, it has allowed the selection panel to refresh the Test squad with a particular focus on competing away from home,” Strauss said. “We felt that it was time to draw a line after the Ashes defeat, look forward and give some impetus with an influx of new players.
“In respect of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, I want to emphasise this does not mean the end for them as England players. We feel that it is important to look at some exciting new bowling potential and give some added responsibility to other players who have featured previously. No one doubts the quality and experience that James and Stuart bring to the England set-up. It will be up to the new managing director and permanent head coach to decide on whether they will be involved this summer and beyond.
“This selection of this squad is the start of a process and a journey to get England Test cricket back to where it needs to be, and the hard work starts now.”
Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson – who only made his debut last summer – will be the senior seam-bowling options in the Caribbean, supplemented by Mahmood, Fisher and Craig Overton. Fisher, a former England Under-19, made his Yorkshire debut in 2013 as a 15-year-old but has suffered greatly with injury since then. He was involved on the England Lions tour of Australia and has a solid first-class record, picking up 20 Championship wickets at 19.65 last summer.
The inclusion of Lees, who captained the Lions in Australia, had been widely tipped, having resurrected his career after leaving Yorkshire for Durham in 2018. He is likely to make an immediate step up to Test cricket, with the other batting options – Pope, Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence – all candidates to bat alongside Root in the middle order.
Collingwood was installed as interim head coach on Monday, following the sackings of Silverwood, assistant coach Graham Thorpe and England men’s managing director, Ashley Giles. England depart later this month to play World Test Championship fixtures in Antigua, Barbados and Grenada, having managed just one series win in the Caribbean since 1968.