Rob Key, England's new Managing Director of Men's Cricket, has confirmed that the veteran pace duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad will be back in contention this summer after new Test captain Ben Stokes made it clear he wanted to have them in his side.
Anderson and Broad were controversially axed for the recent West Indies tour, where England suffered a 1-0 Test series defeat. However, they will now be part of England's plans this summer, but there is no guarantee that they will feature in the playing XI.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Rob Key said: “Before it was announced that I was doing this job, I rang them up and said, in my opinion, they're both available for selection. I told them, 'I can't promise you're going to play but you're available.”
He further revealed, “Ben Stokes has been very clear he wants Jimmy and Broady to come back in. It will purely be done on what is the best XI to win a Test match and if they're in that – there's every chance they will be because they're very good bowlers – they will be.”
Key added, “They just want to continue on this journey they've been on and they didn't want it to finish in the way it possibly might have done. They were very happy and pleased to be up for selection.”
He also said that Stokes was the clear choice to replace Joe Root as England’s Test captain and described the all-rounder as a strong leader with an outstanding cricket brain. He signed off by saying, “I just think the time is right for him.”