The creme de la creme will be involved in the Cricket World Cup, but there are plenty of talented players who will not feature when the tournament begins this week.

Each of the 10 nations involved in England and Wales named 15-man squads for the competition, which meant selectors faced some difficult decisions before settling on their chosen line-ups.

Here, with the help of Opta, we take a look at the best 11 players who will not be involved.

Niroshan Dickwella (Sri Lanka)

Sri Lanka's dreadful pre-World Cup form led to changes for this tournament and Dickwella was one of those to pay the price. He was out in single figures in all three of his innings against South Africa in March.

Opta fact: Despite his recent struggles, Dickwella has amassed more ODI runs (1,388) than any other Sri Lankan batsman since the start of 2017.

Imrul Kayes (Bangladesh)

Imrul has been out of the ODI picture since December having been dismissed for four and a duck against West Indies. Prior to that, though, he had accrued 349 across three innings against Zimbabwe, so there was some surprise he was deemed surplus to requirements.

Opta fact: Of the 124 men to have registered at least eight ODI innings in 2018, Imrul's average of 62.3 was the eighth-highest.

Rishabh Pant (India)

Dinesh Karthik, who turns 34 during the tournament, was preferred to Pant, 21, as back-up wicketkeeper to MS Dhoni. Given Karthik and Dhoni's advancing years, Pant's time will surely come but the explosive youngster is only on the standby list in 2019.

Opta fact: Pant has starred in the Indian Premier League, scoring the second-most runs (1,172) over the last two seasons behind only KL Rahul (1,252). Pant also claimed the most dismissals for a wicketkeeper (24) in this year's tournament.

Ambati Rayudu (India)

Rayudu had been earmarked for the number-four slot in India's batting line-up but lost out to Vijay Shankar due to the latter's 'three-dimensional' qualities. Rayudu had some fun with that, saying on Twitter that he had ordered "a new set of 3D glasses to watch the World Cup".

Opta fact: In his 35 ODI innings outside of India, Rayudu has averaged 47.4. Only Virat Kohli and Dhoni have better records among those to have played for the country as often.

Dinesh Chandimal (Sri Lanka)

Despite being his nation's captain as recently as six months ago, Chandimal was another high-profile Sri Lankan to be omitted. A regular throughout 2017 and 2018, Chandimal's last ODI century was in August 2016.

Opta fact: Chandimal has scored a half-century in four of his last six ODI innings in England and Wales.

Peter Handscomb (Australia)

Australia had to find a way to include Steve Smith and David Warner following their returns from bans, and wicketkeeper-batsman Handscomb was the unfortunate one to miss out despite starring in the duo's absence.

Opta fact: Prior to naming their preliminary squad, Handscomb had featured in 13 straight ODIs, scoring a century and three half-centuries while averaging 43.5.

Kieron Pollard (West Indies)

All-rounder Pollard has not played an ODI since October 2016 but many thought he might have been involved on the back of a fine IPL, when he helped Mumbai Indians to a record fourth title.

Opta fact: As well as averaging 49.2 across his final 11 innings in this year's IPL, Pollard has the experience of appearing in two previous World Cups (2007 and 2011).

Dwayne Bravo (West Indies)

It has been nearly five years since Bravo appeared in an ODI and he retired from international cricket in October 2018, but the all-rounder is still on the standby list having scored 2,968 runs and taken 199 wickets for the Windies in this format.

Opta fact: Only 21 men have scored over 2,500 ODI runs and claimed at least 150 wickets and Bravo is one of three West Indians to have done so - along with Chris Gayle and Carl Hooper.

David Willey (England)

Someone had to make way for the talented Jofra Archer and left-armer Willey, useful with bat and ball, was the unfortunate player to miss out. Willey has been a major part of England's recent white-ball success but, even in his absence, Eoin Morgan still has Archer, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett and Ben Stokes as seam options.

Opta fact: Since his debut in May 2015, no player has opened the bowling more often for England in ODIs than Willey (44 - level with Woakes)

Josh Hazlewood (Australia)

A back injury contributed to Hazlewood's absence from Australia's squad, though the seamer is expected to be in England later in the year for the Ashes series.

Opta fact: Hazlewood produced his best ODI figures in the last major tournament to take place in England - the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy - taking 6-52 against New Zealand.

Junaid Khan (Pakistan)

Included in the preliminary squad, Junaid was axed after disappointing in the warm-up series with England as the selectors went back to Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. Having featured in 76 one-day games for his country, Junaid's experience will be missed.

Opta fact: Junaid has taken a wicket in each of his previous six ODI appearances in England and Wales.

Junaid Khan has deleted a tweet that seemingly criticised Inzamam-ul-Haq's decision to axe him from Pakistan's Cricket World Cup squad.

Junaid, along with Faheem Ashraf, Yasir Shah and Abid Ali, was omitted from the 15-man squad, which was confirmed on Monday.

The left-arm bowler took to social media following the announcement, posting a picture of himself wearing tape over his mouth, with the caption "I don't want to say anything. Truth is bitter."

That post has since been deleted, with Junaid offering no further explanation.

Earlier on Monday, Pakistan chairman of selectors Inzamam stated that both Junaid and Ashraf had missed out due to underperforming in the recent 4-0 one-day international series loss to England.

"Junaid and Faheem had been originally preferred over a few other bowlers based on their recent performances and the investment we had made on them since 2017," said Inzamam.

"They had the opportunity to cement their World Cup spots, but they were well below-par in the series against England even though they were up against the difficult challenge of bowling on placid and batsmen-friendly wickets.

"After it became obvious that the bat is likely to dominate the ball in the World Cup, we revisited our strategy and reverted to the pace of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz."

Pakistan start their World Cup campaign against tournament hosts England on June 3.

Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir and Asif Ali have been included in Pakistan's Cricket World Cup squad.

Abid Ali, Junaid Khan and Faheem Ashraf were omitted along with Yasir Shah when the final 15-man party was named on Monday.

It is almost two years since Wahab featured in a one-day international, but the left-arm paceman has been given the nod for the tournament in England and Wales.

Amir, outstanding in Pakistan's ICC Champions Trophy triumph two years ago, was left out of the initial squad, but it was no surprise that he made the cut after recovering from chickenpox.

Batsman Asif was named in the squad a matter of hours after it was announced that his daughter had lost her battle with cancer.

Pakistan suffered a 4-0 ODI series defeat to England after losing by 54 runs at Headingley on Sunday.

Sarfraz Ahmed's side start their World Cup campaign against West Indies at Trent Bridge on May 31 following warm-up games against Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

 

Pakistan squad:

Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.

Captain Sarfraz Ahmed is one of six players rested by Pakistan for their one-day series against Australia, with Shoaib Malik leading a 16-man squad that includes Umar Akmal and Junaid Khan.

With a tour to England and also the Cricket World Cup looming on the horizon, Pakistan's selectors have opted to leave out some of their leading names for the upcoming 50-over fixtures in the United Arab Emirates.

As well as wicketkeeper Sarfraz, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Afridi will not be involved.

Mohammad Hafeez also misses out as he is recovering from thumb surgery, while Hussain Talat is dropped following the 3-2 ODI series defeat to South Africa last month.

Uncapped quartet Abid Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain and Saad Ali have been called up after impressing at domestic level, while batsman Akmal and seamer Junaid are recalled.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah is also included as Pakistan look to manage their players carefully ahead of a busy schedule.

"Had there been no pre-World Cup matches in England, then we would not have made these many changes," Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is chairman of selectors, said in a statement.

"While Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan, Umar Akmal and Yasir Shah are returning to ODI cricket, Abid Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain and Saad Ali have been rewarded for stellar performances in domestic cricket.

"The series against the world champions will not be an easy one and these players, in fact, will be tested to their limits.

"This will provide these players a great opportunity to display their skills and temperament, strengthening their claims for a World Cup call-up as there are a few places up for grabs."

The first one-dayer takes place on March 22 with the series concluding before the end of the month.


Pakistan squad: Shoaib Malik (captain), Abid Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Saad Ali, Shan Masood, Umar Akmal, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah.

Mushfiqur Rahim fell one short of a century before Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan excelled with the ball as Bangladesh beat Pakistan by 37 runs to seal their place in the Asia Cup final against India. 

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