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The Ashes

Jofra Archer earns maiden Test call-up for the Ashes

England have named uncapped pacer Jofra Archer in the 14-member squad announced for the first Ashes Test scheduled to commence on August 1 at Edgbaston, while World Cup hero Ben Stokes has been appointed as the side's vice-captain.

Archer starred with the ball in England's dramatic World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord's where he held his cool under pressure and delivered the match-winning Super Over.

Archer, who made his international debut in May this year, does not have a lot of first-class cricket experience behind him but he could now make his Test debut when the two Ashes foes meet on Thursday.

The 24-year-old battled a side strain throughout the showpiece event and was rested for the one-off Test against Ireland.

He managed to return to cricket action recently when he represented Sussex in the Vitality Blast game against Surrey on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, Stokes has been reinstated as Joe Root's deputy - a position he was sacked from after being involved in a brawl outside a pub in Bristol in late 2017.

During Stokes' absence, Jos Buttler assumed the duties of vice-captain and continued to do so even with the all-rounder coming back into the Test side.

Anderson returns, Leach dropped

James Anderson, whose side injury kept him out of the Ireland Test at Lord's, will also join the squad for the Ashes opener alongside Buttler and Stokes.

Fresh from being declared man-of-the-match for his hefty contribution of 92 runs during England's 143-run victory over Ireland, Jack Leach has been excluded from England's squad.

Moeen Ali has instead been entrusted with the role of the lone specialist spinner in the side.

England's top-order failures continue to be a feature of their appearances in red-ball cricket as they are still bereft of a suitable opening pair with Rory Burns' struggles with the bat quite evident.

England national selector Ed Smith shed light on the unusual decision to name a 14-player squad for a home Test and stated this was done to monitor the recovery of players following a hectic World Cup.

"Though it is unusual to select a squad of 14 for a home Test, there are compelling reasons to do so here.

"Several bowlers are recovering from injuries or niggles. In addition, some bowlers who played in the World Cup are being closely monitored to assess their preparation for Test match cricket.

"The wider circumstances -- a successful home World Cup campaign followed so quickly by a home Ashes series -- are unprecedented.

"It feels sensible to select an expanded squad and leave a number of bowling options open for the final team selection," he said.

Although Australia are the current holders of the prized Ashes urn, they have not triumphed on English soil in a five-Test series since 2001.

England squad:

Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes