England selectors have announced a 16-man squad for the five-match ODI series versus Australia starting in January.
Selectors were given clear guidance to name their strongest squad and have made their selections accordingly. The headlines news is that Alex Hales and Ben Stokes are included, though their involvement remains subject to any relevant legal or disciplinary developments in relation to an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September.
Kent batsman Sam Billings and Durham seamer Mark Wood are added to the squad that defeated West Indies (4-0) in England at the end of the summer. The first ODI will be at the MCG on Sunday January 14.
England’s 16-man squad to face Australia, Gillette ODI Series:
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) (Capt.)
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)
Sam Billings (Kent)
Jos Buttler (Lancashire)
Tom Curran (Surrey)
Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire)
Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Joe Root (Yorkshire)
Jason Roy (Surrey)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
David Willey (Yorkshire)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
Mark Wood (Durham)
The ECB Board has agreed that Hales is available for team selection, following police confirmation that he will face no charges. Should the ECB Board receive formal confirmation that Stokes has either been charged or that he will face no charges, they would convene within 48 hours to make a decision on whether to include him in any forthcoming ODI match.
National selector James Whitaker said: “With around 18 months to the start of the 2019 World Cup, our ODI side continues to make solid progress with series wins over the West Indies and South Africa last summer and a semi-final berth in the Champions Trophy. The forthcoming series against Australia presents another significant opportunity for this group to showcase their skills and talent against a quality side away from home.
“The core group of the squad have been involved at this level for at least the past two years and that consistency of selection has enabled us to build a cohesive squad that is playing some entertaining and winning cricket. I would like to wish captain Eoin Morgan, head coach Trevor Bayliss and the players every success during the series.”
Schedule – Gillette ODI Series
1st ODI, Sunday January 14 vs Australia, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne (2.20pm local time)
2nd ODI, Friday January 19 vs Australia, Gabba, Brisbane (1.20pm local time)
3rd ODI, Sunday January 21 vs Australia, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (2.20pm local time)
4th ODI, Friday January 26 vs Australia, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (1.50pm local time)
5th ODI, Sunday January 28 vs Australia, Optus Stadium, Perth (11.20am local time)