Joe Clarke has praised the contribution of Ross Whiteley in white and red ball cricket for Worcestershire and said he "fully deserves" his first England Lions call-up.

Clarke and Whiteley have both been named in an 18-man England Performance Programme squad and a 16-man England Lions squad for the first part of the winter programme which includes five T20 matches against Pakistan 'A' in the UAE in December.

Whiteley, who has represented England in the Hong Kong Sixes, has sparkled in the short format of the game for the Rapids and helped them reach the quarter-finals of last summer's NatWest T20 Blast.

But the former Derbyshire player, who recently signed a anew four year contract, also showed his capabilities in four-day cricket during the latter stages of last season.

Clarke said: "The T20 stuff came along and Ross expressed himself and showed all the county cricketers in England what a dangerous player he was.

"I was doing 12th man duties for the T20 match with Yorkshire at Headingley and that was an incredible innings (91 not out off 35 balls).

"But he also came back into the four-day side and got a great 100 up at Scarborough.

"He had some other 60s and 70s and in the one-day stuff (Royal London One-Day Cup) he had some great knocks as well.

"Ross is a brilliant cricketer and thorougly deserves the recognition he has received with the Lions."