Livingstone and Mahmood named in North v South squads
The Lancashire duo of Liam Livingstone and Saqib Mahmood are among the players who will be given the chance to press their England one-day claims in the first North versus South series in the UAE next March.
Livingstone had a very impressive 2016 season for Lancashire in all formats of the game. In four-day cricket, Livingstone has hit two centuries, including his maiden First Class century against Somerset. In white ball cricket, Livingstone hit a stunning half century off just 22 balls against Yorkshire before falling just short of a maiden List A century against Derbyshire as he was dismissed for 98.
Meanwhile, Saqib Mahmood impressed in the final few games in the NatWest T20 Blast, taking three wickets in four balls against Durham at Emirates Riverside. He has also featured for the England Lions alongside Livingstone this summer.
Also named in the squads are England players Steven Finn, James Vince, Liam Dawson, Mark Wood, Ben Duckett and Keaton Jennings.
“For all the players selected, the North versus South series is a platform to make an impression,” said the National Selector James Whitaker after the squads were finalised this week.
“As Andrew Strauss said when he introduced the series before the start of the 2016 season, we see it as an important addition to our selection process in 50-over cricket, ahead of the two major global events we are staging over the next three summers – the Champions Trophy next year, and the World Cup in 2019.
“With the calibre of the squads we have selected, we are confident there will be an intense and high-quality level of competition that allows us to assess players who are currently just outside the England squad, and their ability to perform at that higher level.
“The teams will be led by two members of the senior England coaching staff – Paul Farbrace with the South, and Ottis Gibson with the North. They were both involved in the selection process, and the England head coach Trevor Bayliss will be attending the matches with me next March.”
But Whitaker added: “We also wanted to use this series as an opportunity to see some other players who have shown potential in the county game.”
The squads will gather in Dubai ahead of warm-up matches on March 15, with the first two matches of the series at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on March 17 and 19 before it concludes at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on March 21.
Squads for North versus South series, March 2017
North: K Jennings (Durham, capt), B Duckett (Northamptonshire Steelbacks*), S Hain (Warwickshire), J Clarke (Worcestershire Rapids, wk), L Livingstone (Lancashire Lightning), J Leaning (Yorkshire Vikings), T Bresnan (Yorkshire Vikings*), J Poysden (Warwickshire), G White (Northamptonshire Steelbacks*), M Wood (Durham), S Mahmood (Lancashire Lightning), R Gleeson (Northamptonshire Steelbacks), H Gurney (Notts Outlaws*).
South: J Vince (Hampshire, capt), D Bell-Drummond (Kent Spitfires), T Alsop (Hampshire), D Malan (Middlesex), S Northeast (Kent Spitfires), L Dawson (Hampshire*), B Foakes (Surrey, wk), T Curran (Surrey), L Gregory (Somerset*), T Groenewald (Somerset*), M Coles (Kent Spitfires*), S Finn (Middlesex), M Crane (Hampshire).