Bell handed Lions chance
Ian Bell has been included in a strong England Lions line-up for the four-day tour match against West Indies.
Last Updated: 22/04/09 11:31am
Ian Bell has been included in a strong England Lions team for the four-day tour match against West Indies at Derby from April 30-May 3.
The selectors, who delayed announcing the side from Monday in order to have more time to assess their options, have named a line-up that features several players in the frame for the first Test of the series with the same opponents, which starts at Lord's on May 6.
Kent skipper Rob Key, one of the candidates to become England captain for the ICC World Twenty20 in June, will again lead the Lions as he did last summer and during the winter tour of New Zealand.
He will be in charge of a side including Warwickshire batsman Bell, who was dropped from the Test side during the winter tour of the Caribbean but has started the season strongly with centuries in the LV County Championship and Friends Provident Trophy against Somerset.
Bell will hope to be recalled to the Test squad, which is expected to be announced next week once national selector Geoff Miller has had a chance to look at other candidates, such as former captain Michael Vaughan.
"This is a really exciting summer for cricket in England and Wales and the Lions matches are excellent opportunities for players to push for England places," Miller said.
"The Lions squads feature players who display qualities that are capable of winning matches for England, so these games are very important.
"Rob Key captained outstandingly well in New Zealand and then took the reins in similar fashion for the MCC in the champion county match, so he will continue to lead for the match against West Indies."
Nottinghamshire all-rounder Samit Patel, dropped for England's one-day series in the Caribbean recently for failing to reach the required fitness levels, has been picked after scoring 95 against Worcestershire in the current championship game.
The remaining international players included are Warwickshire wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose, who toured the Caribbean with England this winter, Lancashire seamer Sajid Mahmood, Durham's Liam Plunkett, Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott and Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright.
England Lions: R Key (Kent, capt), T Ambrose (Warwicks, wkt), I Bell (Warwicks), S Mahmood (Lancs), S Moore (Worcs), S Patel (Notts), L Plunkett (Durham), A Rashid (Yorkshire), J Trott (Warwickshire), C Woakes (Warwickshire), L Wright (Sussex)