Nottinghamshire all-rounder Samit Patel has been included in the England Lions squad to face Sri Lanka in a four day tour match at Derbyshire’s County Ground.

Patel has been out of England contention but has enjoyed good form in recent times, capped by a fifty in Nottinghamshire’s ongoing LV= County Championship match at Hove.

“Samit was sent away to address form and fitness and I’m not surprised at all that they have renewed their interest in him having seen that he’s made progress since he was last involved,” said Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell.

“I would imagine that his role in the Lions team will be to bat at six, seven or eight and to serve as the second spinner to Danny Briggs.

“Andy Flower has monitored Samit very closely whilst he has been out of the England setup and ensured that he has been aware of what needed to happen to put himself back in the frame.

“Performing well for the Lions is the first step for Samit to get back towards where he found himself in 2008.”

The selectors have named a 12-man squad captained by Somerset batsman James Hildreth.

Newell believes that the absence of a recognised opening pair may indicate that a call up for Nottinghamshire’s Alex Hales was considered.

“There isn’t an obvious opening pair in the squad and Alex could have been an attractive option if he was fit,” said Newell.

The four day fixture begins on Thursday 19 May.