YORKSHIRE pace bowler Matthew Fisher has been chosen for this year’s North versus South one-day series, but club captain Gary Ballance has decided to skip the event.
Fisher, 20, is part of the North squad for the series of games that will be played at Kennington Oval, Barbados, on March 18, 21 and 23.
Ballance, 28, qualified automatically to take part via the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s rankings system. The top-four England-qualified players in both groups of the Royal London One-Day Cup were invited, but Ballance has decided to lead Yorkshire on their two-week pre-season trip to South Africa that starts on March 7, having missed winter training at Headingley due to the Ashes tour.
Alastair Cook and James Vince (England duty), plus Ravi Bopara (Pakistan Super League), are also unavailable after qualifying automatically.
Fisher is joined in the North squad by England’s Ben Duckett, who received a final written warning and was fined for pouring a drink over James Anderson in a Perth bar in December.
The 23-year-old Northants’ batsman was also dropped for the Lions’ tour of West Indies in February and March.
The North will be captained by Steven Mullaney and coached by Paul Collingwood as they seek revenge for a 3-0 whitewash in the inaugural series last year. Kent batsman Sam Northeast leads the South, who will be overseen by England batting coach Mark Ramprakash.
National selector James Whitaker said: “We believe these are two exciting squads which again underline the value of this North v South series as an opportunity for us to see some strong contenders for white-ball cricket playing at a higher level of competition and intensity.”
North squad: Steven Mullaney (Notts), Sam Hain (Warwicks), Ben Duckett (Northants), Joe Clarke (Worcs), Keaton Jennings (Lancs), Brett D’Oliveira (Worcs), Alex Davies (Lancs), Paul Coughlin (Notts), Matthew Fisher (Yorkshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancs), Richard Gleeson (Northants), Zak Chappell (Leics), Matt Parkinson (Lancs).
South squad: Sam Northeast (Kent), Daniel Bell-Drummond (Kent), Nick Gubbins (Middlesex), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Delray Rawlins (Sussex), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), John Simpson (Middlesex), Sam Curran (Surrey), Paul Walter (Essex), Dominic Bess (Somerset), Tom Helm (Middlesex), Jamie Porter (Essex), George Garton (Sussex).