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County Championship 2024

Hartley dropped, Bashir recalled as England spinners’ county opportunities oscillate

Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Tom Hartley has been dropped by Lancashire for their second County Championship fixture of the 2024 season. Nathan Lyon has been retained in their side against Hampshire, while Shoaib Bashir has been recalled for Somerset.

The biggest subplot of the early first-class season has been how England’s young spin duo are managed. At the end of England’s Test series in India, Brendon McCullum said it would be ‘slightly mad’ if Hartley and Bashir weren’t given opportunities by their respective counties. Hartley’s place is of particular interest given Lancashire’s signing of Nathan Lyon for initially the whole of the 2024 season.

In Lancashire’s rain-affected opening round against Surrey last week at Old Trafford, Hartley was picked alongside Lyon and scored 16 not out in the host’s only innings. He then bowled one over in Surrey’s 8.3-over reply, hit for a solitary four by Dom Sibley. However, Lyon will be the only specialist spinner in Lancashire’s XI at the Utilita Bowl for the second round. Hartley was in the squad for the fixture but has not been selected, with no ECB directive in place to manage his workload.

In contrast, after being left out of Somerset’s XI against Kent last week, Bashir has been recalled for their match against Surrey at The Oval. Somerset’s decision not to select Bashir in the opening round despite the absence of Jack Leach as he continues to recover from knee surgery drew criticism.


Elsewhere, Rehan Ahmed is not in Leicestershire’s side for their Division Two fixture against Sussex. Ahmed will not be available for the third round of fixtures either as he embarks on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

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