Lancashire pair are pride of Lions
Lancashire duo Liam Livingstone and Haseeb Hameed have been named in the England Lions squad to tour Sri Lanka early in the New Year.
Keaton Jennings will skipper the team.
The Durham opener scored a century on his Test debut against India in Mumbai last week and will get another chance to impress the national selectors when the Lions face Sri Lanka A in a four-day and 50-over series in February and March.
Fellow batsmen Hameed and Ben Duckett, who also made their Test debuts this winter, are included in the travelling party who will play two four-day games and five 50-over contests.
Jennings, who was the leading run-scorer in Specsavers County Championship Division One last season but was only flown out to join England’s touring party on the subcontinent after Hameed broke his hand, will lead the side in both formats.
The 19-year-old Hameed, who impressed with 219 runs at an average of 43.8 in the first three Tests against India opening alongside Alastair Cook, will take part in the four-day games, with left-hander Duckett - who was dropped after the second game of the series after struggling against spin - arriving for the limited-overs leg of the tour.
Tom Alsop, Joe Clarke, Livingstone, Ben Foakes, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Ollie Rayner, Craig Overton and Tom Helm join Jennings in both squads, with Nick Gubbins, Tom Westley, Toby Roland-Jones and Jack Leach selected for the first part of the tour and Daniel Bell-Drummond, James Fuller and Josh Poysden coming in for the 50-over series.
England national selector James Whitaker said: “The Lions play such an important role in bridging the gap between county and international cricket, and after a successful training camp in the UAE culminating in an excellent win against Afghanistan, this tour of Sri Lanka is a great opportunity for the players to gain experience of playing on the subcontinent.
“Keaton Jennings impressed everyone on the Lions programme, with his leadership skills as well as his batting - he was named captain for their one-day games against the UAE, and scored a century in the first.
“That has already led to his call into the England Test set-up in India - but the Sri Lanka tour offers him the chance to gain further captaincy experience as well as playing some high-quality cricket in different and challenging conditions.
“Haseeb Hameed had also made such a promising start in Test cricket before it was cut short by injury. Like Keaton and Ben Duckett, who will be returning to the Lions after playing some brilliant innings for them in the home Tri-Series against Sri Lanka A and Pakistan A last summer, I know he will relish the chance of playing some quality cricket in Sri Lanka in the New Year.”