England selectors have announced a 16-man England Performance Programme (EPP) squad, including Middlesex's James Harris and Sam Robson. The England Performance Programme will spend a period training at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough followed by a month in Australia. The EPP will be based in Brisbane for a fortnight followed by two weeks in Perth. Two of the players included in the squad, Middlesex batsmen Sam Robson and Durham pace bowler Mark Wood, are yet to be selected for England programmes in any format.
On being selected for the England Performance Programme squad, Sam Robson said: "When I first came to England six years ago my aim was simply to try and improve as a cricketer. I have loved my life in London, love playing for Middlesex and have been very fortunate to have worked with Angus Fraser, the rest of the Middlesex coaching team and all of the players at the club. It is a great honour and a real privilege to have been selected in the England Performance Programme and I am hugely excited and really looking forward to the winter ahead.”
National selector, Geoff Miller, said: “The England Performance Programme provides an excellent opportunity for those players identified as having considerable talent to train together in an England environment throughout the winter and further develop as cricketers and this is an exciting young squad who have impressed in domestic cricket recently.”
“The time spent at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and Australia allows our coaches to work intensively with the players and assess their readiness to graduate to the full England side when the opportunity arises. Gary Ballance, Boyd Rankin and Ben Stokes have all come through the EPP in recent years and have put in strong performances for their counties and England teams to earn an opportunity to step into the Test environment.”
England Performance Programme Squad
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
Danny Briggs (Hampshire)
Jos Buttler (Somerset)
Varun Chopra (Warwickshire)
Ben Foakes (Essex)
James Harris (Middlesex)
Chris Jordan (Sussex)
Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire)
Alex Lees (Yorkshire)
Tymal Mills (Essex)
Jamie Overton* (Somerset)
Sam Robson (Middlesex)
Reece Topley (Essex)
James Vince (Hampshire)
David Willey (Northamptonshire)
Mark Wood* (Durham)
An announcement of those players awarded central contracts for 2013/14 will be made later this week.
*To remain in the UK and specialise in strength and conditioning with the PEPP programme at the NCPC.
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