Vodafone Men's Ashes
Thunder's Mahmood headlines England Lions squad
England name Saqib Mahmood and Tom Abell in their Lions squad for the Ashes, meaning the pair will miss the early stages of the KFC BBL
14 October 2021, 11:06 PM AEST
Fast bowler Saqib Mahmood headlines the England Lions squad that has been named for their tour of Australia this summer, meaning the right-armer will miss the early stages of the KFC BBL for the Sydney Thunder.
But Thunder teammate Sam Billings as well as Sixers pair James Vince and Tom Curran should be available for the whole Big Bash season after they were overlooked in the Lions squad.
England selectors have named a 14-man Lions group that will fly to Australia on November 4 and provide warm-up opposition for their Ashes squad, which was named earlier this week.
The Lions will train alongside the main group in Queensland and play two intra-squad warm-up matches before they face Australia A in a four-day match, which is scheduled to be played in Brisbane on December 9-12 and run concurrently with the first Vodafone Test at the Gabba.
With the BBL scheduled to start on December 5, it means Mahmood and the Heat's new signing, Tom Abell, will be on Lions duty for the early stages of the T20 tournament.
The BBL schedule is subject to change due to ongoing internal border issues in Australia, meaning it's not yet clear where Mahmood and Abell will need to travel to once their Lions duties are over.
Mahmood impressed in white-ball cricket for England earlier this year and had been part of their Test set-up as well, with former skippers Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain this week saying the right-armer should have been picked in the main Ashes squad.
Other notable names in the Lions group are wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes, leg-spinners Matt Parkinson and Mason Crane (whose sole Test to date came at the SCG in 2018) and recently dumped Test opener, Dom Sibley.
But there was no room for Sixers pair Curran and Vince, who both played on England's last Test tour of Australia in 2017-18, or Billings, who had been part of the Test set-up this year.
Other English players with BBL contracts who were not picked in the Lions squad are Alex Hales (Thunder), Harry Brook (Hobart Hurricanes), Ben Duckett (Heat) and George Garton (Adelaide Strikers), meaning they should all be available for the whole tournament.
England Lions squad: Tom Abell, Josh Bohannon, James Bracey, Brydon Carse, Mason Crane, Matthew Fisher, Ben Foakes, Alex Lees, Saqib Mahmood, Liam Norwell, Matt Parkinson, Dom Sibley, Jamie Smith, Rob Yates
England Ashes squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Vodafone Men's Ashes v England
First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium