LONDON (AP) — England selectors forgave players for drunken incidents by including them Monday in the squad heading to Australia in search for a fourth straight Ashes victory.
Monty Panesar is in the 17-man traveling party despite last month being fined by police for drunk and disorderly conduct — urinating in public following his ejection from a nightclub. Panesar was released by county club Sussex and has not played for England since the incident, but is now likely to be the second-choice spinner behind Graeme Swann.
"Monty had his problems which we have worked hard to rectify," England national selector Geoff Miller said. "He is very sure those errors are behind him now and he is very prepared to let his bowling do the talking for him so I am prepared to accept that."
Allrounder Ben Stokes, who has yet to play test cricket, has been called up despite being sent home from the England development team's tour of Australia in February in disgrace over drinking incidents, after ignoring previous warnings.
Stokes impressed in the recent one-day series against Australia. Gary Ballance, a New Zealand-born batsman, and bowler Boyd Rankin are also in the touring party seeking their first England caps. Providing back-up to first-choice openers Alastair Cook and Joe Root will be Michael Carberry over Nick Compton.
Compton made two centuries in his nine test appearances before losing his place in the squad following a disappointing series against New Zealand earlier this year, with Root promoted up the order. The 32-year-old left-hander Carberry has made just one test appearance — against Bangladesh in 2010.
Seamer Tim Bresnan is not included in the squad as he continues to recover from a stress fracture in his back. "He will travel to Australia with the squad to maximize his rehab opportunities with the medical team and coaches who will monitor his progress," Miller said.
England completed a hat trick of Ashes series wins last month with a 3-0 series triumph on home soil. With the rivalry resuming on Nov. 21 in Brisbane, Australia coach Darren Lehmann has described England's style of play as "dour."
"It's not the type of cricket I'd play," Lehmann told the BBC. "At times I'd like to see their over rates picked up."
Squad: Alastair Cook (Captain), Matt Prior, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Michael Carberry, Steven Finn, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, Jonathan Trott.