Middlesex all-rounder Josh De Caires earns first England Lions call-up

Middlesex all-rounder Josh De Caires earns first England Lions call-up after impressing in the County Championship… with Michael Atherton’s son one of SEVEN spinners in the squad

  • Josh De Caires selected by England Lions for next month’s training camp
  • Michael Atherton’s son took 27 wickets for Middlesex last season

Josh De Caires, son of former Test captain Michael Atherton, has been selected by England Lions for the first time.

De Caires, 21, reinvented himself as an off-spinner last summer, having begun his first-class career as a top-order batter like his father and has been rewarded for a strong finish to a season in which he took 27 wickets all told – including a match haul of 10 against Essex – with a call-up to next month’s Lions training camp in Abu Dhabi.

The 21-strong squad is loaded with spin options as one might expect ahead of England’s Test tour of India in the new year, with Somerset’s 20-year-old offie Shoaib Bashir also among 10 Lions newcomers. 

As Mail Sport reported last month, despite a modest return of 10 wickets at 67 runs apiece in the 2023 County Championship, the selectors have been taken by the way in which he fires the ball into the pitch – a useful quality on deteriorating Asian pitches.

Josh De Caires has been selected by England Lions for the first time and will join the squad for a training camp in Abu Dhabi next month

The Middlesex offspinner is the son of former England Test captain Michael Atherton

The other spinners are Leicestershire’s Rehan Ahmed, capped in all formats by England despite still being in his teens, Sussex duo Jack Carson and James Coles, the slow left-armers Tom Hartley and Callum Parkinson, of Lancashire and Durham respectively, and the all-rounders Dan Mousley and Ollie Price, from Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.

Four seamers with full England caps in Brydon Carse, Matthew Fisher, Matthew Potts and Josh Tongue are also included.

England performance director Mo Bobat said: ‘The camp will provide an excellent opportunity for the players to develop their red ball game and allow us to learn more about them as people and players.

‘In selecting the group, we’ve carefully considered England’s short and long-term needs in Test cricket, particularly with sub-continent challenges in mind.

‘It’s quite a large group and it’s great that we can support player development in this way for what should be a fun camp.’

England Lions squad for camp between November 16-December 7 

Rehan Ahmed (Leicestershire), George Balderson (Lancashire), Shoaib Bashir (Somerset), Josh Bohannon (Lancashire), Brydon Carse (Durham), Jack Carson (Sussex), James Coles (Sussex), Josh De Caires (Middlesex), Matthew Fisher (Yorkshire), Tom Hartley (Lancashire), Lyndon James (Nottinghamshire), Tom Lawes (Surrey), Dan Mousley (Warwickshire), Callum Parkinson (Durham), Matthew Potts (Durham), Rishi Patel (Leicestershire), Ollie Price (Gloucestershire), James Rew (Somerset), Ollie Robinson (Durham), Josh Tongue (Nottinghamshire), John Turner (Hampshire)

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