England call up left-arm seamer for Ashes camp

Ross McLean
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UNCAPPED Derbyshire seamer Mark Footitt has been handed the opportunity to stake a late claim for Test recognition this summer after being named in England’s pre-Ashes training squad yesterday.

Left-arm fast bowler Footitt has taken 32 wickets in Division Two of the County Championship so far this summer, which follows an impressive haul of 82 last season at an average of 19.12.

The 14-man party will travel to Spain for a four-day camp from 27 June, with the primary objective focused on those likely to feature against Australia better acquainting themselves with England’s new head coach Trevor Bayliss.

“With Trevor Bayliss arriving in the country next Thursday, Trevor, Alastair [Cook] and I felt it important that both players and management likely to be involved in the early stages of the Investec Ashes have the chance to meet him and fully understand his approach prior to meeting up for the start of the Test series,” said director of cricket Andrew Strauss.

“With that in mind, we have arranged a preparation camp in Spain. This will involve a combination of physical and fielding sessions and planning meetings in an informal environment in order to provide the best possible lead up to the first Test in Cardiff.”

Footitt could also provide England’s batsmen with exposure to left-arm pace bowling ahead of their likely showdown with Australian duo Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc during the Ashes, which start on 8 July.

Fast bowlers Liam Plunkett and Steven Finn are also included in England’s training squad, while the remainder of the group contains the players involved in the drawn two-Test series against New Zealand.

Essex seamer Reece Topley, meanwhile, has received his first senior international call-up ahead of England’s T20 international against New Zealand at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Topley has taken eight wickets in the domestic T20 Blast campaign this year, and joins Hampshire batsman James Vince as a new face in a squad which is otherwise made up of players on ODI duty this summer.