Keaton Jennings to captain England Lions on tour of Sri Lanka

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Keaton Jennings
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Keaton Jennings. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Durham opener Keaton Jennings who made his England Test debut in the fourth Test against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai as he replaced 19-year-old Haseeb Hameed in the team after he fractured his finger. Jennings will lead England Lions team for the tour of Sri Lanka. He made an impressive debut scoring a brilliant hundred in the first inning and with that he became the 19th English player to score a century on debut.

His knock helped England post 400 in the first inning. But the Test match ended in an anti-climax for him as he was dismissed for a golden duck in the second inning which made him the first cricketer to score a century in the first inning and get out for duck in the second inning of the debut Test.

National Selector James Whitaker was quoted by ecb.co.uk as saying: “The Lions play such an important role in bridging the gap between county and international cricket, and after a successful training camp in the UAE culminating in an excellent win against Afghanistan, this tour of Sri Lanka is a great opportunity for the players to gain experience of playing on the subcontinent.

“Keaton Jennings impressed everyone on the Lions programme, with his leadership skills as well as his batting – he was named captain for their one-day games against the UAE, and scored a century in the first. That has already led to his call into the England Test set-up in India, but the Sri Lanka tour offers him the chance to gain further captaincy experience as well as playing some high-quality cricket in different and challenging conditions.

Haseeb Hameed who disappointingly had to leave the tour of India mid-way after an impressive start is also a part of the team and will look at it as a great opportunity to get back his form after the injury break. “Haseeb Hameed had also made such a promising start in Test cricket before it was cut short by injury. Like Keaton and Ben Duckett, who will be returning to the Lions after playing some brilliant innings for them in the home Tri-Series against Sri Lanka A and Pakistan A last summer, I know he will relish the chance of playing some quality cricket in Sri Lanka in the New Year.

“Congratulations also to Tom Helm and Josh Poysden. They have been on the selectors’ radar for a while as players of promise, and that’s why they were invited to join the Lions in training in Dubai – where they made a big impression on the Lions coaches.”

The five weeks tour begins on 6 February while the last game will be played on March 13; fixtures of the tour are yet to be finalized with Sri Lanka Cricket.

England Lions squads for Sri Lanka tour:

For first section, including four-day matches v Sri Lanka A: K Jennings (C), H Hameed, N Gubbins, T Alsop, T Westley, J Clarke, L Livingstone, B Foakes, S Curran, T Curran, T Roland-Jones, T Helm, C Overton, O Rayner, J Leach.

For 50-over series v Sri Lanka A: K Jennings (C), D Bell-Drummond, T Alsop, B Duckett, J Clarke, L Livingstone, B Foakes, S Curran, T Curran, C Overton, T Helm, J Fuller, O Rayner, J Poysden.

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