Chris Woakes to lead England Lions tour to Sri Lanka

Chris Woakes will captain a 15-man England Lions squad to tour Sri Lanka in February and March 2014.

The Warwickshire all-rounder, 24, is one of four men in the squad to have been capped at Test level.

Woakes, Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow and Lancashire's Simon Kerrigan featured in the last home Ashes series during the summer, while Nottinghamshire's James Taylor faced South Africa in 2012.

Middlesex batsman Sam Robson has gained his first England Lions call-up.

Australia-born Robson, 24, qualified for England  on residency grounds in August.

England Lions tour

  • 1-3 Feb: Sri Lanka A Team Emerging Players XI, Colombo
  • 6-8 Feb: Sri Lanka A Team Emerging Players XI, Colombo
  • 12-15 Feb: Sri Lanka A, Kandy
  • 19-22 Feb: Sri Lanka A, Dambulla
  • 26 Feb-1 Mar: Sri Lanka A, Colombo

Woakes's selection as captain has been announced two days after he signed a two-year contract to extend his stay at Warwickshire.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow, 24, is with England's Ashes squad in Australia as cover for Matt Prior.

England selector James Whitaker said: "We believe that this Lions squad contains an excellent mix of players who have had international exposure, combined with emerging young talent that we hope can flourish on this tour to Sri Lanka.

The Lions will arrive in Sri Lanka on 27 January and play two three-day matches in Colombo against a Sri Lanka A Team Emerging Players XI.

Mark Robinson's squad will then face three four-day matches against the Sri Lanka A team one each in Kandy, Dambulla and Colombo.

Whitaker added: "The opportunity to train and play in the sub-continent will be an invaluable experience and under the guidance of coach Mark Robinson we are convinced all the players will learn a great deal."

England Lions squad: Chris Woakes (Warwickshire, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Scott Borthwick (Durham), Varun Chopra (Warwickshire), Ben Foakes (Essex), James Harris (Middlesex), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire), Alex Lees (Yorkshire), Tymal Mills (Essex), James Overton (Somerset), Sam Robson (Middlesex), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), James Vince (Hampshire).