Root to lead Lions against New Zealand
Yorkshire batsman Joe Root has been selected to captain the England Lions in their tour match against New Zealand next month, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Monday.
The 23-year-old right-hander is expected to feature for the senior England side in the test series against New Zealand in May but is also viewed as a potential future England captain and the selectors are keen to give him leadership experience.
Ashley Giles, the senior side's limited-overs coach, will take charge of the team for the four-day match, which starts at Grace Road in Leicester, central England, on May 9.
"Joe Root will lead the side in order to assist his development as a cricketer and provide him with valuable experience of captaincy against quality opposition," national selector Geoff Miller said in a statement.
Root will be leading out a strong Lions side which includes Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow and Durham's Graham Onions, who could both face New Zealand in the test series.
Ravi Bopara, Michael Carberry and James Taylor are the other test-capped players to be named in the Lions line-up, while Varun Chopra, Chris Woakes and Chris Wright are also included.
Middlesex bowler Toby Roland-Jones has been picked after a good start to the season, while Lancashire's Simon Kerrigan is the only front-line spinner.
"With a busy summer of test cricket ahead, this fixture against New Zealand is an excellent opportunity for our players to show us that they are capable of representing England in the longer format of the game," Miller added.
"Ashley Giles will be part of the Lions management team for this fixture and this will enable Ashley to closely monitor the performances of players who are competing for places in our Twenty20 and One Day International sides as well as the test team."