The new managing director of England men’s cricket Rob Key has held talks with pace bowling stalwarts Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad over their possible Test recall, and is also expected to get in touch with all-rounder Ben Stokes and gather his views about captaincy.
While Anderson and Broad — the most successful England pacers ever — have declared their intention to return to the side after being axed ahead of the three-Test series in the Caribbean, Stokes has emerged as the likely candidate for the post of England captain after Joe Root stepped down recently following a five-year stint of leading the side.
England have a gruelling summer Test season beginning with the three-Test series against New Zealand from June 2 and Anderson and Broad could play a vital role in the series if selected.
A report in dailymail.co.uk said on Wednesday that it understood that Key had contacted the two pacers who were “controversially axed for the 1-0 defeat by West Indies last month before he was officially unveiled as the successor to Ashley Giles”.
The pace bowling stalwarts have shared between them a mindboggling 1,177 Test wickets and Key “checked their availability for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s on June 2”, the report said.
Key’s stance on the two pace bowlers is in contrast to Andrew Strauss, who held the role of ECB managing director on an interim basis after the departure of Ashley Giles. Giles left the position after three years, following the debacle of the Ashes, where England lost 4-0 away in Australia.
The reports also said that Key will likely get in touch with England vice-captain Stokes this week.