England selectors today announced an 18-man England Performance Programme (EPP) squad and a 16-man England Lions squad for the first part of this winter’s tour programme.

Hampshire’s James Vince, who was yesterday named in England’s T20 squad to take on Pakistan this autumn, will captain the Lions team in a five-match Twenty20 (T20) series against Pakistan ‘A’ in the UAE in December.

Vince will lead a strong Lions squad which includes five players with international experience; Sam Billings, Chris Jordan, Stephen Parry, Reece Topley and David Willey – plus Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari, who was named in England’s Test squad for the tour to UAE yesterday.

Ansari’s inclusion in both the Lions and EPP squads will be subject to a further medical review of his thumb injury later this week.

Nineteen-year-old wicket-keeper batsman Joe Clarke from Worcestershire, who made his maiden First Class hundred earlier this month, is the youngest player selected in the 18-strong EPP squad, which includes a host of players who have impressed in domestic cricket this season.

Led by Andy Flower, the EPP winter programme will see all 18 players undertake a four-day training camp at the National Cricket Performance Centre (NCPC) in Loughborough in early November – before the squad divides into two specialist groups.

Twelve players will attend a two and a half-week long batting and spin camp in Dubai starting on November 11th while a six-strong group of fast bowlers will travel to South Africa on the same date to take part in a ten-day training camp in Potchefstroom under the guidance of EPP Lead Fast Bowling Coach Kevin Shine.

The two groups will then re-unite in the UAE in the last week of November for further training and match practice ahead of the England Lions T20 series against Pakistan ‘A’, which gets underway on Monday 7th December.

Worcestershire’s Director of Cricket, Steve Rhodes, will work with the Lions this winter in an assistant coach capacity, alongside head coach Andy Flower.

Commenting on the squads, National Selector, James Whitaker, said: “Congratulations to all of the players selected for the England Performance Programme and England Lions this winter. It is hugely important that we have a reserve of players who are ready to perform on the international stage when they get the opportunity and the EPP and the England Lions play a vital role in identifying and developing the next generation of England cricketers.

“With the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India just six months away, the five-match T20 series for the Lions against Pakistan ‘A’ will form a particularly important part of our preparations for the tournament, ensuring that we can draw on a wider group of players who have recent experience of playing T20 cricket in sub-continental conditions. “

England Lions will return to Dubai to play a five-match one-day series against Pakistan ‘A’ in January 2016. The itinerary and squad for this tour will be announced in due course.

England Performance Programme 2015-2016 Batting and spin camp in Dubai, 11th November – 1st December

Zafar Ansari – Surrey

Danny Briggs – Hampshire

Joe Clarke – Worcestershire

Daniel Bell-Drummond – Kent

Ben Foakes – Surrey

Lewis Gregory – Somerset

Chris Jordan – Sussex

Dawid Malan – Middlesex

Stephen Parry – Lancashire

Tom Westley – Essex

Ross Whiteley – Worcestershire

James Vince – Hampshire

Fast bowlers camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa, 11th – 23rd November followed by Dubai 24th November – 1st December

Jake Ball – Nottinghamshire

Craig Miles – Gloucestershire

Tymal Mills – Sussex

Craig Overton – Somerset

Jamie Overton – Somerset

Olly Stone – Northamptonshire

England Lions v Pakistan ‘A’ Twenty20 squad, Dubai 1st – 17th December

Zafar Ansari – Surrey

Jake Ball – Nottinghamshire

Sam Billings – Kent

Joe Clarke – Worcestershire

Daniel Bell-Drummond – Kent

Ben Foakes – Surrey

Lewis Gregory – Somerset

Chris Jordan – Sussex

Dawid Malan – Middlesex

Tymal Mills – Sussex

Stephen Parry – Lancashire

Reece Topley – Essex

Tom Westley – Essex

David Willey – Northamptonshire

Ross Whiteley – Worcestershire

James Vince (captain) – Hampshire

Itinerary

4.12.15 T20 warm up TBC

7.12.15 1st T20 Pakistan “A”

10.12.15 2nd T20 Pakistan “A”

11.12.15 3rd T20 Pakistan “A”

13.12.15 4th T20 Pakistan “A”

16.12.15 5th T20 Pakistan “A”