Rio Ferdinand has been recalled to the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
The Manchester United defender's last England appearance was in the 2-2 draw against Switzerland in June 2011, reports the BBC.
Ferdinand, 34, has 81 caps, having made his debut against Cameroon in 1997.
"It's a no brainer. We need a good centre-half. It's not really much more complicated than that," said manager Roy Hodgson.
"There's no sinister connection with his lack of selection in the past.
"He's playing well, his team are doing extremely well and this is the moment to select him because he deserves it on current form.
"Hopefully he can help us win the next two matches because that's the most important thing."
England plays San Marino on Friday, 22 March, before travelling to Montenegro on Tuesday, 26 March in a game which could dictate who wins Group H.
West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster, 29, is also named for the first time since asking former manager Fabio Capello not to pick him in May 2011, while 20-year-old fellow keeper Jack Butland drops to the Under-21 squad.
"When you have a goalkeeper of Ben Foster's stature it's a great pity when he's not available. I think for Ben it's just good he's decided after a long absence that he wants to play again," Hodgson added.
Tottenham duo Scott Parker, 32, and Michael Dawson, 29, are also recalled.
Dawson's last international appearance was against Wales in March 2011. It is the first time he has been selected by Hodgson.
Injury problems have kept Parker out of the England set-up since last summer's European Championship finals.
Ferdinand's England career had looked to be over after he was left out of the squad for the Euros in Poland and Ukraine.
That came against a backdrop of suggestions there could be a potential conflict with John Terry, who was due to stand trial over a charge of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton.
Terry was cleared of the charge after the tournament, in July. However he was later banned and fined by the FA over the incident - but not before announcing his retirement from international football.
Hodgson stated he was leaving Ferdinand out for "footballing reasons" and was reported to have told London Underground travellers Ferdinand's England career was over in October 2012.
The England manager later denied making the comment.
Hodgson also dismissed the notion there could be friction between Ferdinand and Chelsea's Ashley Cole after Ferdinand was found guilty of improper conduct and fined £45,000 by the Football Association for responding to a tweet describing the left-back as a "choc ice" in August 2012.
Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Fraser Forster.
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker.
Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Leon Osman, Scott Parker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young.
Strikers: Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Danny Welbeck.