Matthew Fisher, Yorkshire CCC bowler to lead England Lions attack

YORKSHIRE CCC pace bowler Matthew Fisher is in the England Lions squad to tour Australia this winter.

Heading Down Under: Matthew Fisher talking the wicket of Dom Sibley.

Fisher took 20 wickets at 19.65 in five County Championship matches last summer but the 23-year-old hjas been plagues by a series of injuries.

Liam Livingstone was conspicuous by his absence from the squad that will shadow the senior side as Dom Sibley was handed an Ashes lifeline.

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While Matt Parkinson and Saqib Mahmood were included in a 14-strong party that will head Down Under on the same day as England’s Test specialists on November 4, Lancashire team-mate Livingstone has been overlooked.

The all-rounder had a prolific white-ball summer with the bat and retains Test ambitions, averaging 38.36 after 62 first-class matches, but it is understood the omission frees him up to feature in Australia’s Big Bash League.

The exclusions of Livingstone, leg-spinner Parkinson and fast bowler Mahmood from the Ashes squad named last week were criticised by former England captain Nasser Hussain and ex-coach David Lloyd among others.

Parkinson, who has taken 102 first-class wickets at 23.35, and Mahmood, who could have given England added bowling firepower in the absence of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Olly Stone, are at least part of the second-string.

They could push their case to be upgraded to the main contingent in two intra-squad matches, while there will also be one four-day fixture against Australia A on a date to be decided before a scheduled return home on December 16.

Opener Sibley is also in the Lions party, having missed out on a central contract last week.

Former Yorkshire batsman Alex Lees is back six years after his last Lions involvement.

England Lions squad: T Abell (Somerset), J Bohannon (Lancs), J Bracey (Gloucs), B Carse (Durham), M Crane (Hampshire) M Fisher (Yorkshire), B Foakes (Surrey), A Lees (Durham), S Mahmood (Lancs), L Norwell (Warwicks), M Parkinson (Lancs), D Sibley (Warwicks), J Smith (Surrey), R Yates (Warwicks).