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Ashes 2023

Liam Dawson follows big century with sizzling six-for to send Ashes message to England selectors

Liam Dawson Ashes selection question
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Liam Dawson has sent a message to England’s selectors with a strong all-round performance in the ongoing County Championship match between Hampshire and Middlesex.

Dawson, a left-arm spin-bowling allrounder, was one of the names doing the rounds when Jack Leach, England’s premier spinner, was ruled out of the Ashes due to a stress fracture.

However, England decided to recall Moeen Ali from Test retirement to cover for Leach as the lead spinner of the side. Moeen bowled 47 overs and took three wickets in the first Ashes Test, injuring his finger in the process. As England looked for another option, they called up 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed into the squad for the second Test, overlooking Dawson once again.


Dawson, who made his Test debut for England in India in 2016 and has played three Test matches so far, has responded to the snub in style in the County Championship.

Batting at No.6 for Hampshire in their game against Middlesex in Southampton, Dawson scored 141 off 247 balls to take his team to a total of 419 on a surface that was aiding spin.

Josh de Caires, the 21-year-old off-spinner who also happens to be the son of Michael Atherton, took seven wickets for Middlesex in the first innings. When the Seaxes came out to bat, they didn’t have any answer for Dawson’s accurate bowling and big turn.

Dawson bowled 22 overs in the first innings, ending with figures of 6-40, his best of the season. Middlesex were all out for 150 and were made to follow on by Hampshire. They have not started their second innings on a great note and Dawson has already picked two more wickets by the 21st over of the Middlesex innings.

This is not a one-off performance by Dawson this year. At the time of writing, he has 18 wickets from nine innings at an average of 16.55. To go with it, he has also scored 384 runs at a batting average of 34.90 with two fifties and one century.

At 33 years of age and with more than 180 first-class games to his name, Dawson is one of the most experienced spinners England have in their domestic circuit currently. While he might not be the best fit in the England Test team in terms of the style of cricket they are playing, he is in good form with both bat and ball and fits the bill perfectly as a left-arm spinner who can bat at No.8.

Whether England turn towards him or not remains to be seen. Dawson, however, has done all that he can on his part.

You can bet on the 2023 Ashes with our Match Centre partners, bet365.

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