Davies delight at England Lions call
Lancashire star Alex Davies has admitted his delight at being called up to the England Lions squad for their winter tour to Australia.
Davies has been named in his first Lions squad alongside county colleagues Keaton Jennings, Liam Livingstone and Saqib Mahmood for a trip Down Under to shadow the Ashes squad.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a memorable year with bat and gloves against the red ball.
Capped on Friday by Lancashire, Davies scored 1,046 first-class runs for Lancashire this summer, including 916 in the Championship with three centuries. He also claimed 48 dismissals behind the stumps in Division One.
This has all come off the back of an injury ravaged 2016, forcing him into knee surgery and an intense recovery through the most recent winter.
“That’s been my goal for the last couple of years,” he said of the call-up.
“Since the injury, the next step on the ladder was to perform for Lancashire, but then to achieve further honours.
“It’s another small step. I want to keep wicket for England, and I see the winter as a big opportunity to work hard on my keeping.
“I did a bit of training with England around the Test Match at Headingley (against the West Indies in August). I had a couple of days there with Bruce French. It was just training and throwing balls.
“During the season, the Lions is one of your goals and you’re working towards it.
“But as soon as I got out in the second innings against Surrey last week, it was weird because I’d done everything I could to press my case.
“I couldn’t do any more, and it was frustrating that it was out of my control.
“Once you walk off that pitch in the last game to the moment it gets announced, you can’t do anything. And I don’t like that feeling of not being in control.
“Throughout the season, you’ve always got another game or another innings to prove yourself and add to the tally. As soon as that game’s done, I couldn’t do anything else.
“From then, I tried not to think about it.
“But I’m over the moon, and the last 12 months of hard work has paid off for me.”
The Lions will spend a week at the Performance Centre in Loughborough before flying to Brisbane on November 14, for a two-week camp with a red-ball focus.
That culminates in a three-day match against a Queensland XI at the Allan Border Oval from November 27-29, although this will not be an official England Lions fixture.
They then head west to Perth for two weeks focusing on white-ball skills during which they will play three T20 matches against a Perth Scorchers team preparing for the Big Bash.
The Lions squad for a seven-week trip to the West Indies from late January to mid March, including three four-day matches and three 50-over fixtures, will be selected in December, along with the squads for the North-South Series which follows in Barbados in March.
Lions: Dom Bess (Somerset), Joe Clarke (Worcestershire), Paul Coughlin (Nottinghamshire), Alex Davies (Lancashire), Ben Duckett (Northamptonshire), George Garton (Sussex), Nick Gubbins (Middlesex), Tom Helm (Middlesex), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Jamie Porter (Essex), Amar Virdi (Surrey), Tom Westley (Essex), Mark Wood (Durham).