Ben Stokes is back in the net as England leaves options open for Ashes return

“From a red ball perspective, it simply felt like there were other players ahead of him right now,” Bobat said of Livingstone’s omission. “He’s done incredibly well in white ball cricket, some of the red ball tricks over the last few years may not be what he wanted.”

The England Lions squad will travel to Australia on November 4, along with all England Test players who were not part of the T20 World Cup. The England Lions will play one three-day and one four-day match against England before the Ashes kick off, and the four-day match will likely be top notch to maximize the intensity of the game.

The England Lions will conclude their tour by playing a match against Australia A, before departing on 16 December. However, some Lions players may remain in Australia, either as a reserve or added to the official tour team.

Meanwhile, the LV Insurance County Championship will return to a two-part structure starting next season. The Championship used a conference format this year, but for 2022 it will revert to 10 teams in division one and eight teams in division two, with each county placed in the division they would have been if the 2020 Championship had taken place.

This means Lancashire, Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire will take the top spot in 2019 with Nottinghamshire relegated to the second division.

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