Jofra Archer will have to wait to know whether he will be a part of England’s World Cup Squad after the hosts didn’t name him in the 15-member preliminary squad for the mega event. However he has been picked to play in the one-off ODI against Ireland and the five ODIs against Pakistan where he will get a chance to stake a claim for the World Cup spot. Eoin Morgan will lead England and there were no major surprises in a very strong side which starts as favorites to win the tournament for the first time in its history.
“In line with ICC regulations, we have to name a preliminary squad of 15 for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup before April 23,” Ed Smith, ECB’s national selector, said on Wednesday. “However, all 17 players named in the Royal London ODIs against Pakistan can stake a claim to be in the final 15-man squad, finalised at the end of that series.
“The selection panel has been impressed with Jofra Archer’s performances in domestic and franchise cricket. He is a very talented and exciting cricketer,” Smith said.
The Barbados-born Archer qualified to play for England on March 17 2019 after fulfilling the three-year criteria to become a British citizen. Archer has a British passport due to his father being English. England relaxed the seven-year criteria to three in November 2018 which ensured the likes of Archer get a chance to don the England jersey. Archer started playing for Sussex in 2015 and has impressed with his all-round skills having played in T20 leagues all over the world. Currently he is a part of the Rajasthan Royals squad in the ongoing 2019 IPL after the franchise paid INR 7.2 crore to acquire his services last year.
National selector Ed Smith reckoned Archer was a “very exciting talent”and went on to add that the pacer will get a chance to show his skills in the ODI series against Pakistan. “The selection panel would like to give Jofra Archer the opportunity to stake a claim for the final World Cup squad, which will be announced in a little over a month,” Smith told Sky Sports News. “He’s someone who has very quickly shown what he can do on a big stage.
England have picked five pacers in the squad and it will be essentially a shootout between them and Archer for a spot in the final 15. The third spinner’s spot in the team went to Joe Denly whose batting added to his selection over Liam Dawson. The rest of the squad didn’t have any surprises as England went in for their tried and tested core which has served them so well ever since Morgan took over the captaincy duties.
Joining Archer in the 17-member squad for the ODIs against Pakistan will be Chris Jordan who makes a comeback to the 50-over side after 2016, based on his strong showing in the T20Is against Sri Lanka and West Indies. “Chris Jordan, a regular in IT20 squads over the past few years, has continued to develop as a cricketer - as we saw in the IT20s in the West Indies. He fully deserves his return to the ODI squad,” Smith said.
Only 14 though will play the one-off ODI and the T20I against Ireland with Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes rested for those two games. Chris Woakes too will not play against Ireland after the selectors decided to manage his workload to alleviate a long-standing knee issue. “With regard to resting players, we are conscious of managing player workloads leading into such an important summer so that players are in the best possible condition for the World Cup. That was also a factor in the way we have selected these three squads.”
England play warm-up games against Australia and Afghanistan before they start their World Cup campaign against South Africa on 30th May at the Kennington Oval in London. England will be aiming to win their first-ever 50-over World Cup having previously reached three finals in 1979, 1987 and 1992.
Preliminary World Cup squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Squad for Pakistan ODI series: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
Squad for Ireland ODI/Pakistan T20I: Eoin Morgan (captain), Jofra Archer, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood