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Page last updated at 19:16 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 20:16 UK

Alastair Cook appointed captain of England Lions

Alastair Cook
Cook led England to a 2-0 series win over Bangladesh

Alastair Cook will captain the England Lions when they play Bangladesh in next week's four-day warm-up match at the County Ground in Derby from 19 May.

Cook led England's Test side on their tour of Bangladesh earlier this year when regular skipper Andrew Strauss opted to skip the six-week tour.

But he was not selected in the England squad for the World Twenty20.

Ravi Bopara has been called up as a replacement for Michael Carberry, who has a bruised bone in his right foot.

Essex all-rounder Bopara has not played a Test match since the Ashes defeat at Headingley in 2009, although he did feature in one game of England's victorious World Twenty20 campaign - scoring nine runs in the three-wicket victory over New Zealand.

Sussex spinner Monty Panesar is called up despite not being named in the ECB Performance Squad last month.

Last year's Professional Cricketers Association young player of the year, Leicestershire batsman James Taylor, was also included alongside fellow young up-and-comers Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and James Harris.

Cook has struggled for form this season, averaging just 28.37 in Essex's opening five games of the County Championship season, and will want an improvement before the first Test at Lord's, which starts on 27 May.

The 25-year-old earned plenty of plaudits for his captaincy in the 2-0 series win in Bangladesh but national selector Geoff Miller stated the match was a chance for him to develop his leadership qualities.

"Alastair Cook has an opportunity to further enhance his captaincy skills after a successful tour to Bangladesh and his knowledge of the Bangladesh side will be invaluable for his team," Miller said.

"Several of these players were involved in the England and England Lions squads this winter and have had strong performances for their counties this season.

"Moeen Ali and James Harris are two promising young players who have been rewarded for playing pivotal roles for Worcestershire and Glamorgan respectively.

"The Lions matches are excellent opportunities for players pushing for England places to show what they are capable of and we have selected a group of players we feel possess many of the strengths and qualities needed to succeed in international cricket."


England Lions: Alastair Cook (captain, Essex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Steven Davies (Surrey), Andrew Gale (Yorkshire), James Harris (Glamorgan), Steve Kirby (Gloucestershire), Monty Panesar (Sussex), Liam Plunkett (Durham), James Taylor (Leicestershire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).



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see also
Harris wins England Lions call-up
14 May 10 |  Glamorgan
Cook reveals captaincy ambition
08 Apr 10 |  Cricket
Strauss praises Cook's captaincy
28 Mar 10 |  England
Vaughan hails Cook's leadership
25 Mar 10 |  England
Cook captaincy praised by Flower
24 Mar 10 |  England
Cook keen to show captaincy style
12 Feb 10 |  England
Spinner Panesar signs for Sussex
16 Nov 09 |  Sussex


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