Bell part of Lions squad to face Windies

Last Updated: May 06, 2012, 18:06 PM IST

London: Batsman Ian Bell will beef up his preparation for the Test series against West Indies after being drafted into the England Lions squad for the injured Ben Stokes, for next week`s four-day game against the tourists in Northampton.

The right-handed Bell, short of form in recent months, found his footing with a century for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston earlier this week.

Chief selector Geoff Miller said Bell`s inclusion would further strengthen the A side and enhance the player`s readiness for the three-Test rubber.

"It is unfortunate that Ben`s injury has ruled him out of the match against West Indies," Miller said.

"Ian Bell was keen to play another game ahead of the Investec Test series and, after performing well for Warwickshire this week, this match provides an ideal opportunity for him to continue his preparations as well as helping to ensure England Lions prove a challenging opposition for West Indies."

The contest bowls off next Thursday at Wantage Road.

England Lions squad: James Taylor (Nottinghamshire, captain), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ian Bell, Jack Brooks (Northamptonshire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Matt Coles (Kent), Nick Compton (Somerset), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire), Stuart Meaker (Surrey), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire).

IANS