ENGLAND have put their faith in batting sensation Craig Kieswetter playing a leading role in next month’s ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.
The Somerset starlet has been handed the gloves as England’s sole wicketkeeper at the expense of Matt Prior, who is left out of the 15-man squad, captained by Paul Collingwood.
South African-born Kieswetter, 23, scored his first international century during the recent tour of Bangladesh and is seen as England’s long-term hope at the top of the order.
He is expected to open the batting with fellow countryman Michael Lumb, of Hampshire, while Essex batsman Ravi Bopara and Yorkshire all-rounder Michael Yardy also earn recalls.
Of Kieswetter’s inclusion, national selector Geoff Miller said: “We see him as a quality player, and that is why he gets the nod.
“We just felt it was more relevant to have the strength in depth in other areas, so we were quite happy to go with just one wicketkeeper.”
Miller also admitted Prior was disappointed to be left out of the squad but said the door is not closed for the Sussex keeper in the Twenty20 format.
“Matt has been given the opportunity at the top of the order and did not do himself justice up there. That is where we want to play the wicketkeeper,” he added. “Matt will fight for his place back.”
Also left out are batsmen Jonathan Trott, Joe Denly, Owais Shah and Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego, although Kent’s James Tredwell keeps his place as a third spinner.
ENGLAND SQUAD | WORLD TWENTY20
P Collingwood (Durham, capt),
J Anderson (Lancs), R Bopara (Essex),
T Bresnan (Yorks), S Broad (Notts),
C Kieswetter (Somerset), M Lumb (Hants),
E Morgan (Middx), K Pietersen (Hants),
A Shahzad (Yorks), R Sidebottom (Notts),
G Swann (Notts), J Tredwell (Kent),
L Wright (Sussex), M Yardy (Sussex).