Kerrigan called up to England squad

Simon Kerrigan called up to England cricket squad Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Simon Kerrigan admits he initially struggled to digest the "surreal" news that he had been called up by England but has now set his sights on trying to force his way into contention for the fifth and final Ashes Test against Australia this week.

The uncapped Lancashire spinner was one of two surprise inclusions - the other being Chris Woakes - in a 14-man squad which was named today ahead of the match at the Kia Oval where England will look to seal a 4-0 series triumph.

Kerrigan is the second leading wicket-taker in the LV= County Championship Division Two after taking 47 scalps at an average of 20.23 this season, but while the 24-year-old is thrilled to have caught the attention of the national selectors, he admits the England summons came out of the blue.

He said: "I found out yesterday when I got a call from (national selector) Geoff Miller. I'm delighted to be selected, but it was a bit hard to take in when he rang.

"It all felt a bit surreal to be honest."

He added: "I've been inundated with good luck (messages) and congratulations. My phone went into a bit of a meltdown this morning, and I'm grateful for all the messages and good wishes."

Kerrigan may have been called up as cover in case England decide to rest number one spinner Graeme Swann after his 23 Ashes wickets to date this summer, but the slow left-armer is determined to push his case whatever the make-up of the team.

"Hopefully I can impress over the next couple of days and be ready if they choose two spinners," he said.