The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), on Sunday, announced the England men’s 12-member squad for the upcoming first Test against West Indies, starting Tuesday (March 08) at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Notably, ECB had announced the full squad for this tour last month, which saw many prominent faces being dropped after a disastrous performance in the Ashes 2021-22 down under. Veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad were not picked for the Windies’ tour, along with Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan and others.
Although England has received a major blow ahead of the three-match series opener as pacer Ollie Robinson has been ruled out of the first Test with a back spasm. Robinson pulled up midway through an over during the practice match against CWI President’s XI and could not participate further in training on Sunday.
“Ollie is a talented bowler. Naturally, he’ll be a big miss. He’s shown in his short Test career so far that he’s certainly got the skills and the ability to do good things in the format. At the same time, it gives people opportunities,” said senior paceman Chris Woakes as quoted by Sky Sports.
Lancashire speedster Saqib Mahmood might come in the scheme of things to replace Robinson in the playing XI. Although, it would depend whether Joe Root goes with an all-seam attack or stick with the variety of left-arm spin in the form of Jack Leach.
“We’re trying to win games cricket here, but it does give that chance to someone to potentially make their Test debut who’s been waiting in the wings for quite a while to show what they can do at this level,” said Wood on the possibilities of Saqib making a Test debut.
Here is England’s squad for the first Test against West Indies:
Joe Root (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.