Durham duo Mark Wood and Ben Stokes in England pre-Ashes squad

Mark Wood
Mark Wood

DURHAM’S Mark Wood and Ben Stokes are in England’s 14-man pre-Ashes training camp.

The group will travel to Spain with new coach Trevor Bayliss this month.

Left-arm seamer Mark Footitt is the surprise inclusion in the squad.

Left-arm seamer Mark Footitt is the surprise inclusion in the squad.

Footitt, such a success for Derbyshire in the past two seasons, joins a list of more familiar names announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

ECB director Andrew Strauss explained the camp has been arranged so that those likely to feature in this summer’s Investec Ashes can become acquainted with Australian Bayliss.

The four-day training camp will take place from Saturday June 27, with England set on their return to name the squad to play under captain Alastair Cook in the first Test at Cardiff on July 8.

Strauss said: “With Trevor Bayliss arriving in the country next Thursday, Trevor, Alastair and I felt it important that both players and management likely to be involved in the early stages of the Investec Ashes have chance to meet him and fully understand his approach prior to meeting up for the start of the Test series.

“With that in mind, we have arranged a preparation camp in Spain. This will involve a combination of physical and fielding sessions and planning meetings in an informal environment in order to provide the best possible lead up to the first Test in Cardiff.”

The uncapped Footitt’s presence, after taking 82 wickets at an average of 19.12 in Division Two of the LV= County Championship last summer, is eye-catching.

England have long hoped to bring a left-arm pace bowler back into the reckoning, especially in their limited-overs plans.

But the 29-year-old could also provide practice against left-armers for England’s batsmen – who will be up against Australia’s Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson this summer.

The remainder of the training squad features players involved in the recent drawn Test series at home to New Zealand – with the exception of pace bowlers Steven Finn and Liam Plunkett, who have both subsequently been taking on the Kiwis in one-day internationals.

England’s pre-Ashes training camp squad: AN Cook, MM Ali, JM Anderson, GS Ballance, IR Bell, SCJ Broad, JC Buttler, ST Finn, MHA Footitt, A Lyth, LE Plunkett, JE Root, BA Stokes, MA Wood.