English coach Chris Silverwood plans to name a squad of up to 17 players for the New Zealand Test series

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England head coach Chris Silverwood picks an extensive roster of up to 17 players for the June Test Series with New Zealand as the ECB strives to avoid Covid-related disruptions

  • The English test series of two games against New Zealand starts on June 2 at Lord’s
  • The series ends a week before the lockdown restrictions are lifted
  • Chris Silverwood plans to appoint a larger crew to avoid problems with protocols

England’s new squad supremo Chris Silverwood will nominate a larger-than-usual team for the New Zealand Test series next month, which the ECB hopes will be the only time players will be confined to a Covid-safe bubble this summer.

The two-game series kicks off June 2 at Lord’s and ends the following week in Edgbaston, seven days before the government will lift all lockdown restrictions.

England coach Silverwood replaced national selector Ed Smith last month as the ultimate authority on selection, but will initially be spared making tough choices due to the need for a large pool of players to appeal to.

Chris Silverwood plans to name a larger than usual England squad to take on New Zealand

Gloucestershire's James Bracey could benefit from the extensive selection

Gloucestershire’s James Bracey could benefit from the extensive selection

He is expected to name 16 or 17 players for the New Zealand Tests, which could be good news for fringe contenders James Bracey and Ollie Robinson, and should give Rory Burns a respite.

Silverwood wants to have all bases covered because, with strict Covid mitigations enforced for the series, it will be difficult to call for replacements in the event of injury or illness.

The ECB plans to relax their protocols in line with the nationwide relaxation after June 21, so Silverwood will choose smaller squads for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan and the India Test series, as he should be able to additional players from elsewhere if necessary.

Silverwood will choose smaller squads for the white ball series' vs Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and the India Test series

Silverwood will choose smaller squads for the white ball series’ vs Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and the India Test series

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