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8th October 2009

Plunkett named in England Test squad for SA tour

Graham Onions and Paul Collingwood are also included in the One Day squad.

The Test squad contains three uncapped players; Surrey wicketkeeper Steven Davies, Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid and the Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright.

Andrew Strauss will captain both sides and Essex opener Alastair Cook has been named as vice-captain of the Test squad and he has also been recalled to the One-Day squad together with Lancashire quick bowler Sajid Mahmood. Jonathan Trott, who made a century on his Test debut in England’s victory over Australia at The Brit Oval this summer, wins a place in both squads.

On his selection Liam Plunkett said: “After a great year playing for Durham and going on to win the LV= County Championship title this is a really nice way to finish off the year.  I’m absolutely over the moon.  My consistency has really improved this year and to be picked for the England tour to South Africa is fantastic – obviously my main aim now is to stay there, making sure I perform well and maintain my place in the set up.”

Durham CCC Head Coach Geoff Cook commented: “I’m absolutely delighted for Liam.  His selection is an excellent reward for a summer of real hard work, his figures this year show that he has played a major part in the Club’s success.”

ECB National Selector Geoff Miller said: “Liam Plunkett has worked hard to improve all aspects of his game since he last played for England and his selection is reward for consistently putting in strong performances for Durham both with bat and ball.  He will provide strong competition for a place in our pace attack this winter.

“Stephen Harmison has not been included in the Test squad because we feel his form has not been consistent enough over the past 12 months to justify a regular place in the side and we want to give an opportunity to other players to make a case for selection.

“Andrew Strauss has made an outstanding impact as England captain over the past nine months and he will again lead the side in both five day and one-day cricket in South Africa.  Paul Collingwood led the side in the World T20 this summer and he will continue to captain in this form of the game as we go forward this winter.

“We are delighted to welcome Steven Davies and Luke Wright into the Test squad for the first time. Steven is a player of great potential who has been a consistent performer for his County and he will act as understudy to Matt Prior in South Africa.

“The retirement of Andrew Flintoff has created a vacancy for an all-rounder in the squad and while we do not see Luke Wright as a like for like replacement for Andrew, we are excited by the way in which his all-round game continues to develop and believe he can make an impact at Test level.

“Kevin Pietersen is making good progress with his recovery from surgery on his injured achilles. He will join up with the rest of the squad in South Africa following the first two T20 Internationals and his fitness will be reassessed ahead of the One-Day Series.

 “Sajid Mahmood is another player who has had a taste of international cricket before and will be equally keen to make an impression in the One-Day arena after continuing to show good form with Lancashire.

“Alastair Cook has shown great determination to improve his One-day game this summer, made runs at domestic level in both 50 over and T20 cricket and the selectors believe now is the right time to re-introduce him to our One-Day side.

“Likewise, Jonathan Trott who has made an immediate impact in our Test side and has also shown through his performances at domestic level that he has the talent and temperament to succeed in the shorter forms of the game.

“Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah will, of course, be disappointed not to be included in either squad but they are both high class players and will remain in the selectors’ thoughts as we go forward.  Monty Panesar has struggled to find his best form this summer but he will play domestic first class cricket in South Africa over the winter and we will continue to monitor his progress closely.”

Andrew Strauss (Middlesex) captain
Alastair Cook (Essex) vice captain
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Steven Davies (Surrey)
Graham Onions (Durham)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Liam Plunkett (Durham)
Matt Prior (Sussex)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Luke Wright (Sussex) 

Andrew Strauss (Middlesex) captain
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Joe Denly (Kent)
Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Graham Onions (Durham)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Matt Prior (Sussex)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Luke Wright (Sussex)

Nov 1: England squad arrive in SA
Nov 6: President’s X1 – 50-over tour match, OUTsurance Oval, Bloemfontein
Nov 8: President’s X1 – 50-over tour match, De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberley
Nov 10: South Africa A – 20-over tour match, OUTsurance Oval, Bloemfontein (d/n)
Nov 13: 1st Standard Bank Pro20 International, Wanderers, Johannesburg (d/n)
Nov 15: 2nd Standard Bank Pro20 International, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Nov 17: South Africa A – 50-over tour match, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom (d/n)
Nov 20: 1st MTN one-day international, Wanderers, Johannesburg (d/n)
Nov 22: 2nd MTN one-day international, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Nov 27: 3rd MTN one-day international, Sahara Park, Newlands, Cape Town (d/n)
Nov 29: 4th MTN one-day international, Sahara Oval, St. George’s, Port Elizabeth
Dec 4: 5th MTN one-day international, Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead, Durban (d/n)
Dec 9-10: SA Airways XI, tour match, Buffalo Park, East London
Dec 11-12: SA Airways XI, tour match, Buffalo Park, East London
Dec 16-20: 1st Castle Test, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Dec 26-30: 2nd Castle Test, Sahara Stadium, Kingsmead, Durban
Jan 3-7, 2010: 3rd Castle Test, Sahara Park, Newlands, Cape Town
Jan 14-18: 4th Castle Test, Wanderers, Johannesburg
Jan 19: England squad depart