February 3, 2023

Dan Lawrence named in England squad for two-Test tour of New Zealand in February with Jonny Bairstow still absent… but there’s no room for spin sensation Rehan Ahmed

  • England have designated a 15-man squad for the February tour of New Zealand
  • Essex batsman Dan Lawrence is a surprise selection for the two Test series
  • It comes with Jonny Bairstow still recovering from his bizarre broken leg
  • Olly Stone, Matthew Potts and Stuart Broad all return to the bowling attack
  • That leaves no room for Rehan Ahmed, who will play T20 cricket in Abu Dhabi

Dan Lawrence is the surprise selection in England’s 15-man squad for their two-Test tour of New Zealand in February – but there’s no room for teen sensation Rehan Ahmed.

Essex batsman Lawrence owes his return to the continued absence of Jonny Bairstow, who has still not recovered from a badly broken leg suffered in a freak accident at his local golf course.

There are also bowling recalls for Olly Stone, Matthew Potts and Stuart Broad, who missed Pakistan’s historic whitewash to be with his newborn daughter while Mark Wood rested after a busy winter in Pakistan and at the Twenty20 World Cup,

Dan Lawrence is back in England's test team for their tour of New Zealand in February

Dan Lawrence is back in England’s test team for their tour of New Zealand in February

Lawrence (left) batting alongside Joe Root during the West Indies series in March

Lawrence (left) batting alongside Joe Root during the West Indies series in March

Rehan Ahmed is left out of the squad despite impressing during Pakistan's whitewash

Rehan Ahmed is left out of the squad despite impressing during Pakistan’s whitewash

England’s modern thinking is reflected in their decision to allow certain players to play franchise cricket early in the new year as, at least in Ahmed’s case, they believe it is better for their overall development.

The 18-year-old leg-spinner, who took seven wickets on his Test debut in the whitewashed third Test victory in Karachi, will play in Abu Dhabi’s inaugural T20 competition in January and is then likely to be part of the three- match 50-over series in Bangladesh in March.

Meanwhile, Joe Root, who has been rested for South Africa’s one-day, three-match series in January, will be allowed to play “a handful” of games in the UAE before taking a short break and then heading to New Zealand as England settles the best way for him to be ready for the 50-over World Cup in India in October.

England squad for two-Test tour of New Zealand

Stokes (Captain), Anderson, Broad, Brook, Crawley, Duckett, Foakes, Jacks, Lawrence, Leach, Pope, Potts, Robinson, Root, Stone.

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