Harry Brook pushed out of preliminary World Cup squad by Ben Stokes’ return

By Sports Desk August 16, 2023

Ben Stokes reversing his ODI retirement has had the knock-on effect of Harry Brook being nudged out of England’s preliminary squad for the defence of their World Cup crown.

England have named a 15-man squad for four tune-ups against New Zealand next month and, barring injury, that is the group which will bid to retain their 50-over world title in India in October and November.

Jofra Archer’s elbow troubles will be preclude his involvement until at least the latter stages of the tournament so England have bolstered their pace attack by calling up uncapped quick Gus Atkinson.

Archer and Brook may be selected as two of three travelling reserves, with England having until September 5 to submit a provisional squad and then September 28 by which to make any alterations.

The return of Stokes was widely-anticipated but less expected was Brook’s omission, as the Yorkshireman has excelled in the past 12 months even if schedule conflicts have limited him to three ODI matches.

“It’s as hard a decision as you’re ever going to get,” said England men’s national selector Luke Wright. “No doubting he’s someone we couldn’t think any more highly of.

“Everything’s going brilliantly with Brooky. There’s no denying what a superstar he is and what a huge future he’s got with us going forward in all forms.

“I’m sure he’s disappointed. But unfortunately in a 15-man squad, someone’s going to have to miss out. With Stokesy coming back, it made it incredibly tough.”

Stokes branded his three-format schedule as “unsustainable” when bowing out of ODIs last summer while he had initially planned to use a six-month gap between Tests to address a chronic left knee injury.

The issue meant he did not bowl in the last three Ashes Tests but he is set for a specialist batting role as England have selected an influx of all-rounders in Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali and Sam Curran.

England’s Test captain was the inspiration behind their historic triumph in the 2019 World Cup final – he is one of nine survivors to make this autumn’s edition – and in last year’s T20 equivalent.

“It wasn’t really a case of changing his mind,” said Wright. “Once his body was in a good place and he’d had a rest, he was really keen to play. He still has time to do his rest and rehab, which he’s doing, and he says his knee does feel like it’s improving.

“The one thing we won’t be doing is pushing him to bowl unless he’s absolutely fit and raring to go.

“Ultimately the decision came down to ‘it’s a World Cup we want to win and we feel like we are better, and have more chance, with Stokesy than we haven’t’. If ever there’s someone for the big moments it’s Ben Stokes.”

Atkinson has featured in just two List A matches in his career but has impressed when called upon in recent months for Surrey and Oval Invincibles, where he was clocked at 95mph in The Hundred.

The 25-year-old gives England an additional express pace option other than Mark Wood, joining a fast bowling attack comprising Chris Woakes plus three left-armers in Curran, David Willey and Reece Topley.

“First and foremost, Gus deserves to be in there,” said Wright. “He’s been someone that I’ve been quite a big fan of for quite a while, he roughed me up on a few occasions when I was still playing.

“He’s a real asset for us and we’re delighted to give him an opportunity.”

Archer was England’s super over hero four years ago but is at the start of the comeback trail from another stress fracture in his bowling elbow and England do not want to rush his recovery.

“There has got to be a duty of care with Jof, we know how desperate we all are to have him, there’s no doubt about that, but we’ve also got to get it right for him,” added Wright.

“The best case scenario for Jof at the moment would probably be to be available for the back end of the tournament. But obviously, a lot of things have still got to go right with this rehab before then.”

Before four ODIs against New Zealand from September 8-15 – they play the same opponents in the World Cup opener in Ahmedabad on October 5 – England begin their white-ball summer programme with four T20s against the Kiwis from August 30-September 5.

Hampshire seamer John Turner has earned his first senior call-up, while Josh Tongue, who has caught the eye in the Test side this summer, is set for his maiden experience of England’s limited-overs set-up.

England ODI squadEngland T20 squad: J Buttler (captain), R Ahmed, M Ali, G Atkinson, J Bairstow, H Brook, S Curran, B Duckett, W Jacks, L Livingstone, D Malan, A Rashid, J Tongue, J Turner, L Wood.

Related items

  • Pooran stars as LSG condemn Mumbai Indians to last place with 18-run win Pooran stars as LSG condemn Mumbai Indians to last place with 18-run win

    Nicholas Pooran starred to help the Lucknow Super Giants close out a disappointing 2024 Indian Premier League season with an 18-run win over the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.

    LSG piled up an imposing 214-6 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by Mumbai.

    Captain KL Rahul scored a 41-ball 55 to cap off an indifferent season with the bat by his standards before Pooran, who has been one of LSG’s standout players this season, scored a brilliant 75 off just 29 balls including five fours and eight sixes.

    Marcus Stoinis and Ayush Badoni also had solid contributions of 28 and 22*, respectively.

    Nuwan Thushara was the pick of the Mumbai bowlers with 3-28 from his four overs while Piyush Chawla ended with 3-29 from his full quota.

    Despite 68 from skipper Rohit Sharma and 62* off just 28 balls from Naman Dhir, Mumbai fell short of their target reaching 196-6 at the end of their 20 overs.

    Sharma’s knock at the top of the order lasted 38 balls and included 10 fours and three sixes while Dhir hit four fours and five sixes in his innings.

    Ravi Bishnoi and Naveen-ul-Haq took 2-37 and 2-50 in their four over spells.

    This win means LSG will end the season sixth with 14 points from as many games while Mumbai, five-time champions, will finish last having recorded only four wins in their 14 games for eight points.

    Full scores:

    Lucknow Super Giants 214-6 off 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 75, KL Rahul 55, Nuwan Thushara 3-28, Piyush Chawla 3-29)

    Mumbai Indians 196-6 off 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 68, Naman Dhir 62*, Ravi Bishnoi 2-37, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-50)

     

  • Edwards to defend UFC Welterweight title in rematch against second-ranked Belal Muhammad at UFC 304 in Manchester Edwards to defend UFC Welterweight title in rematch against second-ranked Belal Muhammad at UFC 304 in Manchester

    Jamaican-born British Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Champion Leon Edwards now has a date and an opponent for his next title defense.

    The 32-year-old will try to fend off number two-ranked Belal Muhammad in the main event at UFC 304 set for July 27 at the Co-op Live in Manchester, England.

    Edwards will enter the fight in the midst of a 12-fight unbeaten streak while Muhammad is unbeaten in his last 10 contests.

    The pair fought previously at UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs Muhammad on March 13, 2021 in Las Vegas. That bout ended in a no contest after an accidental eye-poke by Edwards in the second of five rounds rendered Muhammad unable to continue.

    After than unfortunate fight, Edwards went on to defeat fan favorite Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in the main event at UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona on June 12, 2021.

    His next fight proved to be his crowning moment as he secured a spectacular head-kick knockout of Kamaru Usman to claim the UFC Welterweight title at UFC 278 in Salt Lake City on August 20, 2022.

    Heading into that fight, Usman was on a 20-fight win streak and was the number one pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. The Nigerian also had a win over Edwards back in 2015.

    Edwards then went on to defeat Usman again, this time via unanimous decision, in their trilogy fight at UFC 286 in London on March 18, 2023 before defending his belt for the second time with another unanimous decision win over Colby Covington at UFC 296 on December 16 last year.

    Muhammad has also been on a tear since that eye-poke.The 35-year-old recorded unanimous decision victories over legends Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson at UFC 263 and UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Daukas, respectively, to close out 2021.

    He then secured a third consecutive unanimous decision win, this time beating Vicente Luque in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Muhammad 2 on April 16, 2022.

    At UFC 280 on October 22, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, Muhammad won performance of the night for his knockout win over Sean Brady and in his last fight, he defeated former title challenger Gilbert Burns via unanimous decision at UFC 288 on May 6, 2023 in New Jersey.

     

     

  • Sri Lanka Women to host West Indies for three ODIs and three T20Is next month Sri Lanka Women to host West Indies for three ODIs and three T20Is next month

    Sri Lanka will host West Indies for three ODIs and three T20Is from June 15-28, Sri Lanka Cricket announced on Thursday.

    The tour will primarily serve as preparation for the T20 Asia Cup, which will also take place in Sri Lanka, for the hosts. That tournament starts on July 20.

    As for the West Indies, they just concluded a month-long tour of Pakistan where they dominated both ODI and T20I series.

    This will be the regional side’s last competitive action before the ICC Women's T20 World Cup set for October 3-20 in Bangladesh.

    The last time these two sides squared off in a bilateral series was back in 2017, where West Indies swept Sri Lanka across both T20Is and ODIs.

    The West Indians have dominated Sri Lanka in T20Is with a head-to-head record of 18-4 whereas in ODIs, the contest has been much closer with West Indies leading 18-14.

    The ODI series will be played from June 15-21 in Galle and is part of the ICC Women's Championship, which serves as a pathway to the 2025 ODI World Cup.

    West Indies are currently seventh on the Women's Championship points table and Sri Lanka eighth. Top four teams, apart from hosts India, will get a direct qualification.

    The T20Is will be held in Hambantota from June 24-28.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.