Flower to lead Lions

Andy Flower takes charge of the England Lions this summer

Andy Flower takes charge of the England Lions this summer

First published in National Sport News © by

Former senior national coach Andy Flower will lead England Lions in their triangular series against New Zealand A and Sri Lanka A next month.

Flower, who stood down as England head coach following the disastrous Ashes tour last winter, remained as technical director of elite coaching at the England and Wales Cricket Board and will now play a key role in developing players for the top team.

Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor has been named captain for the series and will be hoping to press his claims for inclusion in the squad for next year's World Cup and add to his two ODI caps so far.

Middlesex paceman Steven Finn will also be looking to impress the selectors after his eyecatching season so far following a disastrous Ashes tour in the winter.

Ravi Bopara and Harry Gurney will hope to keep their places for the senior series against India beginning on August 25 after featuring against Sri Lanka while Jonny Bairstow and Stephen Parry look to re-establish themselves.

National selector James Whitaker said: "With the Royal London One-Day International series against India rapidly approaching and next winter's tour to Sri Lanka and ICC Cricket World Cup also firmly in our sights, this is the perfect opportunity for these players to impress the selectors in the 50-over format of the game.

"We are delighted to welcome Ravi Patel from Middlesex into a Lions squad for the first time and look forward to what promises to be a closely-contested series against two highly competitive touring sides."

The Lions will open their series against New Zealand at Taunton on August 5 before facing Sri Lanka at the same ground 24 hours later.

They then go to Bristol where they face New Zealand on August 8 and Sri Lanka on August 9 before again facing Sri Lanka at Worcester on August 11 and finishing at the same ground against New Zealand the next day.

England Lions squad: James Taylor (c), Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Steven Finn, Stephen Parry, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Craig Overton, Jason Roy, Ravi Patel, Tom Smith, James Vince, David Willey.

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