• Botham wants Roy in Test squad

    Former England captain Ian Botham has implored England to name opening batsman Jason Roy in the squad for the Ashes series later this year.

    Roy has played 84 ODIs and 32 T20Is since his September 2014 debut, but has not yet been capped at Test level.

    The hard-hitting right-hander struck 443 runs in seven innings at an average of almost 62 during the 2019 World Cup.

    ‘If England don’t pick him it’s a disgrace. He should automatically start at the top of the order. I would definitely start with him. I think he deserves it and I’d be amazed if England don’t go with it,’ Botham told Sky Sports.

    ‘It’s great you have players competing and hungry to play for England. The spin-off of this result is that you will now see kids in parks putting sweaters down and chalk marks on trees and garage doors and kids out there playing. The reason is success.

    ‘If you are playing well and winning World Cups everyone wants to play. You saw it in 2003, when England won the Rugby World Cup, and you will see it now with the cricket.

    ‘There will be a resurgence in schools, clubs, grassroots – all the way through. There will be cricket mania, if you like.’

    England and Australia will contest the Ashes series over five Tests between 1 August and 16 September. Edgbaston, Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval will host the quintet of fixtures.

    Photo: Getty Images

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