Zafar Ansari: England Lions call up Surrey all-rounder

Zafar Ansari
Ansari has taken 44 Championship wickets in 14 matches this season with a best of 6-30

Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari has been named in England's Performance Programme (EPP) and Lions squad for the winter's tour programme.

Ansari, 23, was also this week selected in the senior squad to play Pakistan, before dislocating his thumb fielding, which will be assessed this week.

Worcestershire duo Joe Clarke and Ross Whiteley win first Lions call-ups.

Hampshire's James Vince will captain the Lions in a five-match Twenty20 series with Pakistan A in December.

Vince, who was named in England's T20 squad to take on Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, will lead six other players with international experience - Sam Billings, Chris Jordan, Stephen Parry, Reece Topley, David Willey and Ansari, who, like Vince, played in an abandoned one-day international with Ireland in May.

Ansari's inclusion in both the Lions and EPP squads will be subject to a further medical review.

"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," said national selector James Whitaker.

"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."

The Lions will return to Dubai to play a five-match one-day international series against Pakistan A in January.

England Lions Twenty20 squad (v Pakistan A): J Vince (captain) (Hampshire), Z Ansari (Surrey), J Ball (Notts), S Billings (Kent), (wkt), J Clarke (wkt) (Worcs), D Bell-Drummond (Kent), B Foakes (Surrey) (wkt), L Gregory (Somerset), C Jordan (Sussex), D Malan (Middlesex), T Mills (Sussex), S Parry (Lancashire), R Topley (Essex), T Westley (Essex), D Willey (Northants), R Whiteley (Worcs).

England Performance Programme 2015-2016: Z Ansari, D Briggs (Hampshire), J Clarke, D Bell-Drummond, B Foakes, L Gregory, C Jordan, D Malan, S Parry, T Westley, R Whiteley, J Vince, J Ball, C Miles (Glos), T Mills, C Overton (Somerset), J Overton (Somerset), O Stone (Northants).

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