Nottingham (UK), June 18: Uncapped Derbyshire left-arm paceman Mark Footitt was the eye-catching selection in England's 14-man squad announced Thursday for a pre-Ashes training camp in Spain.
The camp, which will take place for four days from June 27, will also provide the England squad, led by Test skipper Alastair Cook, with a chance to meet their new Australian coach, Trevor Bayliss.
"With Trevor Bayliss arriving in the country next Thursday, Trevor, Alastair and I felt it important that both players and management likely to be involved in the early stages of the Investec Ashes have chance to meet him and fully understand his approach prior to meeting up for the start of the Test series," said director of cricket Andrew Strauss, in an England and Wales Cricket Board statement.
"With that in mind, we have arranged a preparation camp in Spain," the former Ashes-winning England captain added.
"This will involve a combination of physical and fielding sessions and planning meetings in an informal environment in order to provide the best possible lead up to the first Test in Cardiff."
Footitt apart, the squad led by Test captain Alastair Cook is made up of players who have all featured at some stage during New Zealand's tour of England.
The bulk of the 14-man party played in the 1-1 Test series draw with New Zealand, while fast bowlers Steven Finn and Liam Plunkett have both featured in the ongoing one-day series with the World Cup finalists, which concludes in Durham on Saturday.
Aussie left-arm threat
Footitt's inclusion comes after the 29-year-old took 82 wickets at a miserly average of just over 19 apiece for Derbyshire in the Second Division of England's first-class County Championship last season.
Even if he doesn't make the Test side, Footitt could provide England's batsmen with some high quality practice given Australia's Ashes attack is set to feature two left-arm quicks in Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc.
England suffered a 5-0 Test series defeat by Australia in 2013/14 when the Ashes were last up for grabs, with the fall-out from that thrashing leading to the international exile of star batsman Kevin Pietersen.
However, Australia have not won the Ashes in England since 2001, with England triumphing on home soil in 2005, 2009 and 2013 against their oldest rivals. This season's Ashes starts in Cardiff on July 8.
"The squad for the first Test will be announced within a few of days of returning from the camp," said former opening batsman Strauss.
One of Strauss's first acts in his new role was to sack former England coach Peter Moores and bring in Bayliss, while appointing assistant coach Paul Farbrace to a caretaker position in the intervening period.
Under Farbrace, who was Bayliss's deputy when the Australian was head coach of Sri Lanka, England drew the Test series with New Zealand and are currently all square at 2-2 in the one-dayers ahead of Saturday's deciding fifth match.
England pre-Ashes training camp squad: Alastair Cook (Essex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire),Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Mark Footitt (Derbyshire), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Wood (Durham).