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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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England Lions call-up for Cumbrian cricket ace Ben Stokes

Cockermouth's Ben Stokes has been called up by England Lions for their second and final match against Australia A at Edgbaston, starting on Tuesday.

Ben Stokes photo
Ben Stokes

Nick Compton and Ravi Bopara have been replaced in a 13-man squad by Warwickshire’s Varun Chopra and 20-year-old Durham all-rounder Stokes.

Compton has not recovered from the back spasms he picked up while batting on day one while Bopara is not ready for a return to the game due to his ongoing personal problems.

Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow has been backed to return to Test cricket a stronger player following the disappointment of being left out of the ongoing series against South Africa.

Bairstow, 22, scored an excellent 139 in the second innings of the drawn first unofficial Test between England Lions and Australia A at Old Trafford, his second first-class ton inside a fortnight after one for Yorkshire in the LV= County Championship against Leicestershire, which was a timely reminder to the selectors ahead of the squad announcement for next week’s third Test against the South Africans at Lord’s, especially with Kevin Pietersen’s place in the squad far from secure.

Bairstow scored just 38 runs in three Tests against the West Indies earlier this summer.

England and Wales Cricket Board performance director David Parsons said: “Hopefully that innings will have reminded him and us as to the talent he has in his game. “You always worry how players will respond to being left out and he would have been very disappointed. But he got a hundred for Yorkshire recently and came here and played positively.”

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