Burnley Express James Anderson back in England squad

James Anderson has been restored to the England squad for the LV= Insurance Test Series against New Zealand.

England Men's selection panel have named a 13-strong squad for the first two LV= Insurance Test matches of the summer, starting at Lord's on June 2nd, with Anderson and Stuart Broad back in tandem after being left out of the tour to the West Indies.

The squad is: Ben Stokes (Durham) captain; James Anderson (Lancashire); Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire); Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire); Harry Brook (Yorkshire); Zak Crawley (Kent); Ben Foakes (Surrey); Jack Leach (Somerset); Alex Lees (Durham); Craig Overton (Somerset);Matthew Potts (Durham); Ollie Pope (Surrey); Joe Root (Yorkshire).

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Anderson’s omission in March was a huge surprise to many, and he admitted at the time: "I'm praying this isn't the end.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - MAY 13: James Anderson of Lancashire bowls to George Hill of Yorkshire during day two of the LV= Insurance County Championship match between Yorkshire and Lancashire at Headingley on May 13, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

"But if I never play for England again, I know I've got amazing people around me to support me and that's really important."

Managing Director for England Men's Cricket, Rob Key, said: "This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben (Stokes) and Brendon (McCullum). With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month's Test series.

"We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level.

"It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can't wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side. It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country."

The three-match Test series forms part of the ICC World Test Championship. The England team will be looking to climb the rankings after a disappointing start to the second edition of the Championship. At the end of the two-year cycle, the top two teams will compete in the ICC World Test Championship Final due to be staged in the summer of 2023.

The squad will come together for the first time next week in a camp before reporting to Lord's on May 29th ahead of the first Test on June 2nd.