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Welch to help England Lions prepare for Pakistan A series

Tuesday 5th January 2016
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Graeme Welch will join the England Lions coaching staff before their five-match 50-over series against Pakistan A in Dubai this month.

Derbyshire’s Elite Performance Director will team up with Andy Flower, Worcestershire’s Steve Rhodes and the rest of the Lions staff – including Gary Kirsten, the former India and South Africa coach who will join the squad next week in a consultancy role.

All-rounder Matt Critchley will also fly out to Dubai this week to train with the Lions ahead of their five-match series.

Welch said: “I’ve done a bit of work with England programmes before in Chennai and Mumbai, and a couple of days with the Lions when they were at home to Australia a couple of years ago. But this is the first time I’ll have spent this long with a squad and I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’m going out there to work with the fast bowlers. There’s an exciting group of fast bowlers going out there. I’ve worked with Liam Plunkett before but the rest of them are new to me and I’m looking forward to working with them.

“It’s also a good chance to work with Andy Flower, Bumpy Rhodes and also Gary Kirsten, who has a wealth of knowledge from working all around the world. It should be a great experience.”

He added: “It’s also great for Matt to get this chance. Andy Flower saw him at Loughborough and he was impressed. He saw enough to ask him to go out to Dubai with them.

“The Lions are playing a 50-over series and Matt did well for us in the 50-over last season. It has worked out well for him.

“We have got Tom Taylor going out to South Africa at the end of the month as part of the England young fast bowlers’ programme and this is all good for Derbyshire.

“The lads will have the chance to work in top-class facilities with good coaches and it will show them a bit of what the next level is all about. It will broaden their horizons.

“I think it’s good for Derbyshire as well that I’m going out there, and I’m happy that our winter programme will keep running fine without me for the next couple of weeks, under the capable direction of John Sadler, Ant Botha and our other coaches.

“But I didn’t want to miss too much, which is why I’m coming back on the 17th rather than staying out there for the Lions matches.”

Flower added: “As with our time in Dubai before Christmas, this month offers the players another great opportunity to combine learning with high-quality competition.

“If we can play as well as we did in the T20s that would be nice, but it will be another tough series against a Pakistan team which is likely to have more international experience than we do, as was the case in the T20s.

“It is also an opportunity for these guys to put themselves at the front of the minds of the national selectors – and they’re aware of that.”

England Lions squad

James Vince (Hampshire) (Captain)
Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)
Daniel Bell-Drummond (Kent)
Sam Billings (Kent)
Joe Clarke (Worcestershire)
Tom Curran (Surrey)
Liam Dawson (Hampshire)
Ben Foakes (Surrey)
Dawid Malan (Middlesex)
Craig Overton (Somerset)
Jamie Overton (Somerset)
Stephen Parry (Lancashire)
Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire)
Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex)
Tom Westley (Essex)
Ross Whiteley (Worcestershire)

Itinerary

January 6 – Depart for UAE
January 7-12 – Training camp
January 14, 16 – Warm-up matches (venues, timings to be finalised)
Five-match 50-over series against Pakistan A (venues, timings to be finalised)
January 20
January 22
January 25
January 28
January 30

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