Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Stokes, Livingstone in England cricket squad for NZ Tests

Stokes, Livingstone in England cricket squad for NZ Tests

England face the Black Caps, who are one place ahead of them in the ICC Test rankings in fourth, in a day-night Test in Auckland from March 22-26 and then in Christchurch from March 30-April 3.

After a humbling 4-0 defeat in the Tests to relinquish the Ashes, Bayliss has come under fire for the manner in which England were unable to land a telling blow on the hosts. Stokes missed the series after being banned from global duties as police investigate his alleged role in a brawl outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017.

He kept his hand in by playing for Canterbury, his New Zealand birth province, for a month, but has since returned home to be with his wife and young family. Nearly three months ago, the all-rounder was controversially involved in a fist fight outside a bar in Bristol.

There is also a place in the squad for Ben Stokes although consistent with recent selections, his involvement remains subject to the ongoing investigation into the incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September. Liam Livingstone, Lancashire's middle-order batsman received his maiden call-up for the tour.

The 24-year-old told the European Central Bank website: "The Twenty20 was a good experience for me, but my red-ball game is totally different".

The 24 year-old, who is a graduate of the Lancashire Cricket Academy, was recently named Club Captain having averaged over 50 in the Specsavers County Championship in 2017. He amassed 803 runs at 47.23. "He is a very talented and tough cricketer who has the ideal qualities and character to be successful in the test arena".

Also returning to the squad is Durham fast bowler Mark Wood, who last played for England in the longer format in July a year ago and his progress was stalled by injuries.

Craig Overton, who also made his Test debut during the Ashes, is now recovering from a cracked rib but has been picked on the assumption he will be fully fit. "He will play a significant part in our forthcoming ODI tour of Australia and we will be paying close attention to his efforts over the next few weeks", added Whitaker.

Yesterday the batsman returned to the day job, hitting 52 from just 35 balls as England warmed-up for the one-day series with Australia with a five-wicket win over a Cricket Australia XI at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.

England have called up uncapped Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone and returning paceman Mark Wood for the two-match Test series in New Zealand.

Editorial team of CricketCountry.

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