ESSEX seamer Sam Cook has been included in the England Lions squad that will shadow Joe Root’s side in Australia as they attempt to regain the Ashes this winter.

Only the veteran pair of Luke Fletcher and Chris Rushworth took more wickets in the LV= Insurance County Championship this year than the 24-year-old Cook, whose 58 scalps came at a cost of just 14.43 apiece.

Cook is a late addition to the supplementary Lions party that, alongside the Test specialists, will head Down Under on November 4 to commence preparations for a series that is scheduled to start on December 8 in Brisbane.

A brief England and Wales Cricket Board statement said: “Essex right-arm seamer Sam Cook has been added to the Lions squad for the tour of Australia. He will join the party when they depart on 4 November.”