Panesar, Davies return to England squad

December 9th, 2011 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 9 (IANS) Popular off-spinner Monty Panesar and Steven Davies have been recalled to the England squad for the three-Test series against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi next year.

Panesar, a Sikh, is selected to provide support to Graeme Swann, said Geoff Miller, England’s national selector. Panesar has not played a Test since the 2009 Ashes series.

“Monty had a super season with Sussex last year and he could play a very good part,” he said.

Surrey wicketkeeper Davies will travel as cover for Matt Prior having been selected ahead of Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow, who misses out completely as Ravi Bopara retains his place as reserve batsman, The Guardian reported.

Davies has been out since his surprising omission from England’s World Cup squad in January, shortly before he became the first international cricketer to come out as gay. However the 25-year-old will have more relevant experience of playing in the UAE than most of the rest of the squad, as he was included in the MCC side who faced Nottinghamshire in Abu Dhabi in March.

He had a good summer with Surrey, passing 1,000 first-class runs and playing a key role in their late-season surge to promotion from the Second Division of the County Championship.

“He’s continued to progress in domestic cricket and showed what a quality player he is,” Miller said.

Eoin Morgan returns after shoulder surgery. He is currently preparing in India with Prior and the captain Andrew Strauss.

Chris Tremlett also returns after recovering from a back injury sustained in the first Test of England’s 4-0 whitewash of India last summer.

Pakistan have continued their recent good form by dominating the first day of their Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong.

The first Test begins in Dubai Jan 17.

Squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alstair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior, Steven Davies, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Steve Finn, Chris Tremlett, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar.

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