July 4, 2020 / 10:53 AM / a month ago

Bess named in England squad for first Windies test, Moeen left out

Cricket - South Africa v England - Third Test - St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, South Africa - January 19, 2020 England's Dom Bess REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

LONDON (Reuters) - Spinner Dom Bess was named in England’s 13-man squad for the first test against West Indies and there was no place for Moeen Ali among nine reserves, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Saturday.

All-rounder Ben Stokes will lead England in the match, which will begin at the Ageas Bowl Southampton on Wednesday in a bio-secure environment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moeen announced in September he was taking a break from test cricket after losing out on a central contract for the longest format but he was included in a 30-man training group.

But the ECB opted to go with off-spinner Bess, who grabbed his first five-wicket test haul against South Africa in January.

Fellow spinner Jack Leach is among the reserves for the opening game of the three-match series. All-rounder Sam Curran, who was cleared to resume training after testing negative for COVID-19, was also placed on stand-by.

Regular skipper Joe Root will miss the first test to be at the birth of his second child.

The second and third tests will be played in Manchester.

England squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Reserves: James Bracey, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, Olly Stone.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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