Just a few days after scoring a century on his Test debut, Keaton Jennings has been handed the captaincy position for the England Lions tour of Sri Lanka next year.
The new captain will be joined in the four day squad by Haseeb Hameed, whom he had replaced in the Test side as he worked his way back to fitness, due to a broken finger he suffered from back in India.
Ben Duckett is another name in the Lions party. He had opened the batting alongside embattled Alastair Cook, captain of the England Test side. He would however be present only for the one-day fixtures.
They would play two four day games, which would then be followed by a five match 50 over series in February and March 2017
The Lions tour comes at a good time for the duo of Jennings and Hameed, especially in a period where England would lack Test Cricket as they host South Africa between December and July.
It also provides an opportunity for Duckett to press his white-ball credential, considering that he was left out of the limited –overs squads to meet India next month following an impressive ODI debut in Bangladesh.
James Whitaker, the national selector noted that the Lions play a very important role in bridging the gap between the county and international cricket while stating that it provided a great opportunity for players to gain the experience of playing on the sub-continent. He also talked about Jennings choice as captain.
“Keaton Jennings impressed everyone on the Lions programme, with his leadership skills as well as his batting.
“That has already led to his call into the England Test set-up in India, but the Sri Lanka tour offers him the chance to gain further captaincy experience as well as playing some high-quality cricket in different and challenging conditions,” he said.