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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 14:17 GMT 15:17 UK
Prior wins place in England squad
Matthew Prior
Prior plays for Peter Moores' former county Sussex
Sussex wicket-keeper Matthew Prior has been included in a 25-man England performance squad for the summer series against West Indies and India.

New coach Peter Moores' influence seems to be apparent in the decision, with Paul Nixon the other keeper selected.

Marcus Trescothick, who withdrew from the Ashes tour with illness, and Simon Jones, almost ready to play at the top level after a long-term injury, are in.

Non-contracted players Graham Onions, Owais Shah and Michael Yardy are named.

Every member of the World Cup squad is also included, while the unfit Ashley Giles misses out.

The announcement could signal a return to the England team for Trescothick, who missed most of the winter because he was suffering from a stress-related illness.

The wicket-keeping position remains a competitive area - Paul Nixon and Matt Prior have been included in the squad but will be aware that they face strong competition from keepers outside of the squad

David Graveney

Jones has not played for England since the fourth Ashes Test in 2005 but is back playing for Glamorgan after undergoing a knee operation.

Last year, a 30-man squad was named but this time the number has been reduced to 25 to allow for more flexibility.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said: "The England performance squad enables the England head coach working with his support staff and the National Academy staff to monitor more closely the development of international players and better prepare them for the demands of the international game.

"Last year the board agreed that the selectors could name up to 30 players but at this stage we have decided to name 25 players.

"Having five spare places in the squad will give us the flexibility to add players who force their way into the England frame through strong performances in County cricket."

Monty Panesar is the only specialist spinner named, although captain Michael Vaughan filled that role well in the World Cup, and Jamie Dalrymple and Michael Yardy can also spin the ball.

606: DEBATE
RR

But it looks as though Geraint Jones and Chris Read will face a huge fight to get back into the reckoning on the wicket-keeper front.

Graveney added: "We obviously welcome competition for places in all disciplines and are particularly conscious that the squad is currently light in the area of specialist spin - Ashley Giles has been omitted from the squad at this stage due to his injury but could be added to the squad if he regains match fitness during the season.

"The wicket-keeping position remains a competitive area - Paul Nixon and Matt Prior have been included in the squad but will be aware that they face strong competition from keepers outside of the squad."


Squad for this summer's international season:
M Vaughan, J Anderson, I Bell, R Bopara, S Broad, P Collingwood, A Cook, J Dalrymple, A Flintoff, S Harmison, M Hoggard, S Jones, E Joyce, J Lewis, S Mahmood, P Nixon, G Onions, M Panesar, K Pietersen, L Plunkett, M Prior, O Shah, A Strauss, M Trescothick, M Yardy.



SEE ALSO
West Indies in England 2007
08 Jan 07 |  Cricket
India in England 2007
08 Jan 07 |  Cricket


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