England call-ups for Hampshire duo

By Connor Steel

ENGLAND CRICKET have named their squad for a five-match Twenty-20 tour in the West Indies early next year, with Hampshire captain James Vince and all-rounder Liam Dawson selected to represent the national side in the shortest cricket format. The duo will join a much-changed sixteen men team in Barbados led by former England batsmen Paul Collingwood and Marcus Trescothick for the games, which will start preparations for the 2022 Twenty-20 World Cup scheduled to be played in Australia.

Eoin Morgan’s side will travel to Barbados early next year for the five Twenty-20 matches; which will begin on Saturday, January 22 and last for eight days. All encounters are scheduled to begin at 10pm UK time and will be played at the Kensington Oval due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions; with the test team expected to travel for a three-match series throughout March. They will be hoping for revenge after a two-one defeat away in 2019 and improvements from a disappointing Ashes tour trailing 2-0.

Both Vince and Dawson will be hoping to take their opportunities from this tour in the Caribbean as a range of regular starters are unavailable; mostly due to travel restrictions and the fact that the fifth test of the Ashes is only set to finish four days earlier in Hobart. The Hampshire duo both travelled to Dubai in October for the delayed 2020 World Cup in the shortest format; but didn’t play in the squad as England reached the semi finals before being beaten by New Zealand who finished as runners-up.

Vince and Dawson have seen limited performances in the Twenty-20 international format, the thirty year old Hampshire batsmen previously making twelve appearances since making his debut away in Dubai versus Pakistan in November 25. The Hampshire captain’s previous twenty-20 display came in 2019 as he scored fifty-nine runs and won man-of-the-match against New Zealand in a huge victory versus the Black Caps. Since then he has also played in test and one-day internationals for England.

In comparison Dawson has seen less appearances for England in Twenty-20 competition, but the all-rounder has made a similar impact in just six games; making his debut in July 2016 versus Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl where he took 3-27 in front of his home crowd. His top score with the bat came in a clash versus New Zealand in February 2018 when he scored ten, which was his last appearance in an England shirt in this format; despite many call-ups to reserve sides and first teams over recent years.

Stand-in manager Paul Collingwood seemed to be excited about the upcoming tour in Barbados and the selected squad; which features a mix of experience with Jason Roy alongside potential debutants such as Lancashire’s Phil Salt and Sussex’s George Garton against a strong side who were winners of the 2016 Twenty-20 World Cup held across India. The former captain said: “We have selected a strong squad with some serious batting power and a balanced attack as we begin preparations ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

“The World Cup is less than a year away and there will be increased opportunities for the squad in the absence of those players who are with the Ashes squad. I have good memories of winning a World Cup in Barbados and I’m really looking forward to going back there with this squad to face a very good West Indies who will test all aspects of our skills.”

Every ball from this Twenty-20 series will be available to watch on BT Sport from January 22 to 30; all games start at 10pm with coverage starting at 9pm UK Time. In the meantime the Ashes are being shown by the broadcaster throughout December and the start of 2022; England trailing 2-0 after the opening two tests from Brisbane and Adelaide.

PICTURED BY BBC SPORT: Hampshire duo James Vince and Liam Dawson star in club twenty-20 encounter