Magellan Ashes 2017-18

England name Stokes in Ashes squad

Star allrounder remains vice-captain as tourists reveal 16-player group charged with retaining the prized little urn

Laura Jolly

27 September 2017, 07:00 PM AEST

England have named Ben Stokes in their 16-player squad for the Magellan Ashes, with discarded batsman Gary Ballance and James Vince recalled for the five-Test series in Australia.

England have also called up seamer Jake Ball alongside three uncapped players in paceman Craig Overton, leg-spinner Mason Crane and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes, with incumbent No.3 Tom Westley axed.

The ECB also confirmed Stokes will remain England's vice-captain - albeit pending disciplinary procedures - despite the shock news of his arrest on suspicion of assault in Bristol in the early hours of Monday morning.

It was also revealed Stokes fractured a finger on his right hand in the incident, although he is expected to be fit for the first Test on November 23.

England Ashes squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.

The 26-year-old was arrested after his team’s third one-day international against West Indies, before being released under investigation without charge.

On Tuesday, England director of cricket Andrew Strauss confirmed Stokes would be considered for the Ashes on cricketing grounds alone.

Mark Stoneman, who opened alongside Alastair Cook against West Indies, has retained his place in the squad, as has No.5 Dawid Malan.

But No.3 Westley has been dropped, having struggled after scoring an encouraging debut half-century against South Africa at The Oval, reaching double figures just twice in the seven innings that followed.

Coming in are Vince, who was dropped at the end of the 2016 northern summer following an underwhelming run of seven Tests that saw him post a top score of 42 in 11 innings and average just 19.27.

He has been recalled despite underwhelming domestic form for Hampshire where he averaged 34.82.

Moeen blasts incredible ton in Bristol

Ballance has also been recalled, having scored 85 runs at 21.25 in the two Tests he played against South Africa earlier this year before he was ruled out by a fractured finger.

He was replaced by Westley, who England persisted with against the Windies.

It means England’s tour games in Perth, Adelaide and Townsville could develop into a shootout between Ballance and Vince for the No3 spot at the Gabba.

Ballance and Vince might also be competing with Malan for a place at No.5.

Foakes has been included as back-up gloveman to Jonny Bairstow, while Jake Ball and Craig Overton round out the pace stocks after Toby Roland-Jones was ruled out of the Ashes due to a stress fracture in his lower back.

Mark Wood, who has returned from a heel injury for Durham this week, has not been included, while Crane – who played a Sheffield Shield match for NSW last summer – is included as a potential second spin option alongside Moeen Ali.

“A tour of Australia is the ultimate test for our squad. We have provided Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss with a well-balanced squad with options in all areas," ECB National Selector James Whitaker said.

“After a successful summer, having won the Test series against South Africa and West Indies, there is real competition for places and we have selected a squad that will work hard and compete against Australia, aiming to win the Ashes.

Bairstow ton nets England win in Manchester

“Surrey’s Ben Foakes deserves his selection for the first time at this level. His glovework has been exemplary and he is regarded as a wicketkeeper of the highest quality. He has the ability to contribute with the bat scoring over 680 runs in the Championship this summer at an average of 45.33.

“Craig Overton, who like Foakes has come through the International Pathway, has been involved in the England set-up this summer with the Lions and the IT20 squad. He will now get his chance at Test level. We have been impressed with the way he has led Somerset’s attack over a long period of time. He has taken 43 Championship wickets this summer and will relish playing in Australian conditions.

“The selectors are backing James Vince to make an impact on his recall to the Test squad. He is a quality strokeplayer and we believe his game will suit the Australian pitches. His understanding of the England set-up will help him settle into the environment quickly and hit the ground running when we arrive in Perth next month.”

England have also hired former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond as fast bowling consultant for the first two Ashes Tests, while former ODI captain Paul Collingwood will take a coaching role during the Test series and the ODIs against Australia. 

2017-18 International Fixtures:

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21