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Tresco's back!
26/04/07
SOMERSET’S Marcus Trescothick has been given the chance to resurrect his international career after being selected in the 25-man England squad for the summer.

Trescothick is one of 12 players who are centrally contracted to the ECB but after he pulled out of the winter tour to Australia with a stress-related illness which also kept him out of World Cup consideration, there were concerns over his England future.

But he has started the season well for his county and could now win back his place at the top of the order.

Simon Jones is also included, despite an injury-plagued 12 months. Jones has not played for England since the fourth Ashes Test in 2005 but is back playing for Glamorgan after undergoing a knee operation.

Two players from new coach Peter Moores’ former county Sussex make the squad, Michael Yardy and wicketkeeper Matthew Prior.

Prior now appears to be in a straight battle with World Cup gloveman Paul Nixon, who has also been named after an impressive tournament in the Caribbean.

That appears to put the prospects of Geraint Jones and Chris Read - England’s two Ashes wicketkeepers - firmly on the back-burner.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney refused to rule out a return for either man - with Essex’s James Foster and Worcestershire’s Steven Davies also thought to be under consideration.

He said: “The wicket-keeping position remains a competitive area - Paul Nixon and Matt Prior have been included in the squad but will be aware that they face strong competition from keepers outside of the squad.”

Uncapped Durham paceman Graham Onions is one of the more surprising players to make the list.

The 24-year-old was named as a replacement for Darren Gough in the one-day international squad in 2006 but has yet to make his debut.

Of the 13 non-contracted players in the 25, nine were present in Duncan Fletcher’s World Cup squad, while Middlesex batsman Owais Shah joins Yardy, Onions and Prior as the fourth member of Moores’ winter academy squad to be called up.

Injured spinner Ashley Giles, a veteran of 54 Tests and 62 ODIs, is a notable omission but Graveney stressed that the Warwickshire vice-captain - and other hopefuls in county cricket - can still force their way in as the season progresses.

Graveney said: “Last year the board agreed that the selectors could name up to 30 players in the EPS but at this stage we have decided to name 25 players. Having five spare places in the squad will give us the flexibility to add players who force their way into the England frame through strong performances in county cricket.

“We obviously welcome competition for places in all disciplines and are particularly conscious that the squad is currently light in the area of specialist spin - Ashley Giles has been omitted from the squad at this stage due to his injury but could be added to the squad if he regains match fitness during the season.

Ed Joyce and Jamie Dalrymple have not been made to pay for poor displays in the West Indies that led to both being dropped min-tournament.

Youngsters like Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook have also been selected and will be given the chance to progress under the guidance of the ECB and Moores.

“The England performance squad enables the England head coach, working with his support staff and the national academy staff, to monitor more closely the development of international players and better prepare them for the demands of the international game,” added Graveney.

England Performance Squad for this summer’s international season: M Vaughan, J Anderson, I Bell, R Bopara, S Broad, P Collingwood, A Cook, J Dalrymple, A Flintoff, S Harmison, M Hoggard, S Jones, E Joyce, J Lewis, S Mahmood, P Nixon, G Onions, M Panesar, K Pietersen, L Plunkett, M Prior, O Shah, A Strauss, M Trescothick, M Yardy.Speech Bubble
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