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England call up uncapped trio Burns, Denly and Stone for Sri Lanka tour

By Bradley West

England have named three uncapped players in their Test squad for the winter tour to Sri Lanka, which begins in October, with Rory Burns replacing retired opener Alastair Cook.

Kent batsman Joe Denly and Warwickshire fast bowler Olly Stone, who was called up to the England limited overs squad for the first time on Wednesday, have also been named in the 16-man tour party.

Surrey opener Burns, who captained Surrey to their first County Championship title in 16 years this season, has scored 1,319 runs at an average of 69 this season while he has also scored over 1,000 first-class runs for five consecutive seasons.

Denly returns to the England fold for the first time in eight years, having played nine one-day internationals and five T20s in his time with the national side. The top-order batsman, who has scored 798 runs at an average of 36.27 this season offers a canny option with the ball too with his wily leg-spin having taken 20 wickets this season.

Stone has taken 37 wickets at 12.27 this season for Warwickshire to help the Midlands county’s promotion bid from County Championship Division Two.

Somerset’s Jack Leach is back in the England squad as one of three mainline spinners alongside Worcestershire’s Moeen Ali and Yorkshire’s Adil Rashid.

National Selector Ed Smith said on the decisions: “Joe Denly has had an excellent season with bat and ball and has matured into one of the leading players in county cricket. He has that all-round touch of class that can help at the highest level.

“Olly Stone is an exciting talent who bowls with pace and skill. His 37 wickets in the county championship have come at an average of 12.27 and a strike rate of 22.22.

“Rory Burns, who has led Surrey to the Championship title, has been the most consistent run-scorer in county cricket in recent seasons and fully deserves his elevation to the Test squad. Rory is the leading championship run-scorer this season with 1,319 runs at an average of 69.”

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