Graeme Swann and Ian Bell join England Lions coaching set-up

Former England favourites Graeme Swann and Ian Bell have been drafted in as coaching consultants for this month’s Lions training camp in the United Arab Emirates.

The Lions squad fly to Dubai on Sunday for a trip that culminates in a three-day warm-up match against Ben Stokes’ Test side before their tour of Pakistan.

And the England and Wales Cricket Board has brought in two men with serious international pedigree to help.

Swann, whose Test haul of 255 makes him the country’s second most prolific spinner after Derek Underwood, has spoken previously of his desire to work with the next generation of slow bowlers but has frequently been overlooked.

Graeme Swann has been eager to work with England's spinners since retiring.
Graeme Swann has been eager to work with England’s spinners since retiring (Martin Rickett/PA)

Now the 43-year-old will get his chance to share his experience with the likes of teenager Rehan Ahmed and Liam Patterson-White for a week of mentoring, as well as Jack Leach and all-rounder Will Jacks who will be working with the squad in advance of joining the Test team.

Five-time Ashes winner Bell, who sits ninth on England’s all-time red-ball run-scorer list with 7,727, will also travel as a batting specialist.

ECB elite pace bowling coach Jon Lewis will work alongside Durham’s Neil Killeen with a seam group headed by Test caps Matthew Potts and Matt Fisher, while Surrey’s Jim Troughton, Kent’s Min Patel and Somerset’s Paul Tweddle have all been seconded from the county game.

Ian Bell celebrates an Ashes win.
Ian Bell was a five-time Ashes winner in his playing days (Philip Brown/Pool)

Mo Bobat will take charge of the tour and he said: “In Ian Bell and Graeme Swann, we have two people with so much international experience, it’s brilliant to have them as part of the group, and I know everyone will be looking forward to working with them.

“When you add to that the likes of James Anderson and Jofra Archer, who will be out in the UAE with us preparing and training, it’s sure to be a fantastic learning opportunity for the Lions players.

“It’s a really exciting staff team for a trip that I think will be of huge benefit to all of our players. There’s a wide range of experience to call upon, from across the game, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone come together this weekend.”