Fabio Capello has named Jamie Carragher in his provisional World Cup squad as announced by the FA this afternoon.
The 32-year-old defender returns to the Three Lions squad after having retired from international football in 2007.
The Liverpool defender is joined in the 30-man selection by Gareth Barry, despite concerns over the Manchester City midfielder’s fitness for the summer tournament after he was recently ruled out for a month with an ankle injury.
Other notable call-ups are Michael Dawson and Adam Johnson, both previously uncapped at international level, as well as a surprise call for Scott Parker who has only three previous caps and none under Capello.
Dawson’s central defensive partner at Spurs, Ledley King, is also included after much speculation over his fitness problems.
Darren Bent has also made the initial cut but there was no room for Bobby Zamora or Carlton Cole.
Rob Green, Joe Hart, and David James were named as the only three goalkeepers in the squad as expected and will all travel to South Africa.
Stephen Warnock has been included suggesting that the fight between him and Leighton Baines to be Ashley Cole’s understudy in South Africa is not entirely over yet.
Glen Johnson is the only recognised right-back in the squad with cover now expected to come from the returning Carragher.
He will join King, Dawson and Matt Upson in battling Rio Ferdinand and John Terry for the central defensive spots.
There was no room for Wes Brown, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Ryan Shawcross, or Gary Neville.
Scott Parker is the major selection in the midfield. The West Ham midfielder has previously only been selected in one squad by Capello.
Barry is also retained after some speculation that his injury would rule him out entirely. England’s medical staff will now assess the midfielder over the coming weeks to determine if and when he is likely to be fit.
Michael Carrick and Tom Huddlestone have been picked as well as Parker to fight for a starting place in the midfield alongside Frank Lampard in the friendlies against Mexico and Japan.
James Milner is predictably included after recently receiving individual praise from the England manager and could well also fill in for Barry.
Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon, and Shaun Wright-Phillips have been picked to compete for two probable places in the final squad.
Joe Cole is also included after a bright substitute appearance in front of the watching Capello against Wigan on Sunday and he will most likely battle with Adam Johnson for the support role to Steven Gerrard on the left-hand side.
There is no space in the squad for Owen Hargreaves, Jermaine Jenas, or the Aston Villa pair of Stewart Downing and Ashley Young.
Up front only Darren Bent has been added to the usual quartet of strikers preferred by Capello in Wayne Rooney, Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch, and Jermain Defoe.
This all means that there is no space for the in-form Bobby Zamora despite his impressive form in Fulham’s run to the Europa League Final.
Carlton Cole and Gabriel Agbonlahor also fail to make the initial squad.
England will travel to Austria for a training camp after the FA Cup Final this weekend before returning to face Mexico at Wembley on 24 May.
Capello’s men will then fly back to Austria for another friendly against Japan on 30 May before the Italian will name his final 23-man squad for the World Cup on 1 June.
30-man provisional England squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
Rob Green (West Ham United), Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth)
Leighton Baines (Everton), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea), Matt Upson (West Ham United), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa)
Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Scott Parker (West Ham United), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)
Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)