Craig Overton named in Lions squads to tour South Africa tour

Cove England3Somerset all-rounder Craig Overton has been confirmed as part of two England Lions squads to tour South Africa early next year.

The squads cover separate first class and one-day legs of the tour which will include two four-day matches and five 50-over matches against South Africa ‘A’.

As we reported at the time, Craig was included in the provisional Lions touring party announced in October. The England selectors have now finalised that party and confirmed Craig’s involvement. The news follows their announcement of the England squad for the World Cup yesterday (Friday).

Craig has already spent part of his winter in South Africa, as one of seven fast bowlers taking part in an England Performance Programme training camp in Potchefstroom.

After a short spell back home for Christmas, he will now return to South Africa immediately in the new year in time for the opening fixture on 5 January.

The Lions squads feature six drawn from Yorkshire’s championship winning team and several players with plenty of international experience, notably Jonathan Trott who will captain the first-class team. The captain for the one-day side will be announced at a later date.

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Two fast bowlers, Mark Wood of Durham and Matthew Dunn of Surrey, have been added to the provisional squad for the first-class matches. Meanwhile, Ben Stokes and Harry Gurney are included in the squad for the one-day matches following their omission from the World Cup squad.

The Lions will be coached by Sussex CCC’s Mark Robinson, following his stint in charge in Sri Lanka at the start of this year.

With no Test cricket for England this winter due to the World Cup, the first-class Lions matches will be an opportunity for players to press their case ahead of the Test tour of the West Indies next April.

England Lions First Class squad to play against South Africa ‘A’:

Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire) (Capt), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jack Brooks (Yorkshire), Matthew Dunn (Surrey), Alex Lees (Yorkshire), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Adam Riley (Kent), Sam Robson (Middlesex), James Vince (Hampshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

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England Lions 50-over squad to play against South Africa ‘A’:

Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jack Brooks (Yorkshire), Harry Gurney (Nottinghamshire), Alex Lees (Yorkshire), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Stephen Parry (Lancashire), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Vince (Hampshire)

Itinerary

  • 5-7 January – SA Invitational XI v England Lions, three-day match, UJ Soweto Oval, Johannesburg
  • 11-15 January – South Africa A v England Lions, four-day match, Boland Park, Paarl
  • 18-21 January – South Africa A v England Lions, four-day match, Chevrolet Park, Bloemfontein
  • 25 January – South Africa A v England Lions, 50-over match, Chevrolet Park, Bloemfontein
  • 28 January – South Africa A v England Lions, 50-over match, Diamond Oval, Kimberley
  • 31 January – South Africa A v England Lions, 50-over match, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
  • 2 February – South Africa A v England Lions, 50-over match, Mamelodi, Pretoria
  • 5 February – South Africa A v England Lions, 50-over match, Sahara Willowmoore Park, Benoni