Cricket: Ballance surprised at Ashes call

Yorkshire's Gary Ballance
Yorkshire's Gary Ballance
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Yorkshire left hander Gary Ballance admitted he was surprised by his selection for England’s Ashes squad.

“I wasn’t expecting it and was surprised,” admitted Ballance, 24 the day after the First Test starts on November 21 and who had a spell in club cricket with Barnsley.

With Nick Compton not included, Ballance could become a challenger for the No 6 spot to Yorkshire colleague Jonny Bairstow who also covers as reserve wicketkeeper.

Tim Bresnan, who has a stress fracture, is not included leaving Joe Root as Yorkshire’s other tourist.

There is no Graham Onions but Chris Tremlett and Boyd Rankin make it as do Monty Panesar and Ben Stokes.

Young Yorkshire opener Alex Lees is in the England Lions squad to go to Australia.