England head coach Chris Silverwood on Sunday announced a 17-player squad for the Ashes series in Australia, beginning December 8. Ben Stokes, who has taken an indefinite break from cricket, was not available for selection, while Sam Curran too, failed to make the cut due to stress fracture injury.
With the squad announcement, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) reiterated that the Ashes tour is subject to several critical conditions being met by Cricket Australia before the team travels in November. Notably, the England players have expressed reservations against the strict Covid-19 protocols they will be subjected to in Australia.
Ten of the 17 selected players will be touring Australia in an Ashes series for the first time, including vice-captain Jos Buttler.
Sam Curran was not considered for selection after a second scan confirmed that he has a stress fracture in his lower back. The all-rounder is currently in the UAE and last played for his Indian Premier League (IPL) side Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on October 2.
Ben Stokes was not available for selection again and continues to take an indefinite break from all cricket to prioritise his mental well-being and rehabilitation from his injured left index finger.
Pace sensation Jofra Acrher, who underwent an elbow surgery in May, was also a notable omission.
Senior pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad were also named in the Joe Root-led side, which has picked two spinners in Dom Bess and Jack Leach. Broad made a return to the squad after being sidelined during England's home series against India with a torn right calf. Opener Haseeb Hameed was also rewarded for his exploits against India.
The first of the five Tests will begin on December 8 in Brisbane.
England 17-player squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood