Anderson and Broad recalled by England for New Zealand Tests
England has recalled their all-time leading wicket-takers James Anderson and Stuart Broad for the first two Tests against New Zealand.
In March, the veteran pace bowlers were left out of the West Indies tour.
Yorkshire batter Harry Brook and Durham fast bowler Matty Potts, both 23, receive maiden call-ups.
The three-Test series against the world champions will be England’s first since they appointed Brendon McCullum as Test coach and Ben Stokes as captain.
The first Test at Lord’s begins on 2 June, followed by the second at Trent Bridge on 10 June. The series concludes at Headingley.
New Zealander McCullum and Stokes were part of the panel that chose the 13-man squad, with new England managing director Rob Key also involved.
“This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben and Brendon,” said Key.
“With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand.
“We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the county season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level.
“It promises to be a mouth-watering series, and I can’t wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side. It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country.”
Anderson, 39, and 35-year-old Broad, with a combined 1,177 Test wickets, were always likely to return after receiving public backing from Stokes and Key.
England is without seven other fast bowlers through injury, while Ollie Robinson has been left out after a number of fitness issues. There is no place for Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson.
Batter Dan Lawrence, who played all three matches in England’s 1-0 defeat in the West Indies, also misses out as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.
The absences give opportunities to Brook, who is the leading run-scorer in Division One of the County Championship, and Potts, the leading wicket-taker in either division.
All-rounder Stokes has already confirmed that he will bat at number six and former captain Joe Root at four, meaning a reshuffle in the batting order.
Ollie Pope will get the chance to relaunch his Test career at number three, a position he has never occupied in first-class cricket. Brook will push Jonny Bairstow for the slot at number five, while Ben Foakes is set to keep his place behind the stumps.
England is looking to reverse a run that has seen them win only one of their past 17 Tests and none of their past five series.
New Zealand was crowned world Test champions by beating India in the final in Southampton last year.
The series against the Black Caps is followed by the rescheduled fifth Test against India, which was postponed in September after a Covid-19 outbreak in the tourists’ camp.
South Africa then visits the UK for a further three-Test series later in the summer.
England squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes (wk), Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root. (BBC)