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Woakes back in England squad for home tests v West Indies

LONDON : England have recalled Chris Woakes and drafted in the uncapped duo of Nottinghamshire seamer Dillon Pennington and Surrey batter Jamie Smith for the first two home tests against West Indies next month.

Gus Atkinson is the other uncapped player in the Ben Stokes-led side though the Surrey bowler was part of the squad that toured India earlier this year.

Woakes returned to the test squad for the first time since July 2023 in what will be England pace great James Anderson's farewell series.

Anderson, test cricket's most successful fast bowler, will retire after the first test at Lord's beginning on July 10.

"The first test of the summer is always a special moment, but it will be extra poignant with it being Jimmy's last test before he retires," Managing Director for England men's cricket, Rob Key, said in a statement.

"He has given everything to the sport since his test debut in 2003. We all would like to wish him well as he walks out at Lord's for the last time for England.

"We are looking forward to getting the season underway against a strong West Indies side in what will be an excellent test series."

The second test is scheduled at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, while the series will conclude with the third match in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

England squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson (first test only), Gus Atkinson, Shoaib Bashir, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Dillon Pennington, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Joe Root, Jamie Smith and Chris Woakes