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.

The West Indies selectors have rewarded Sunil Ambris and John Campbell for the good work they did during the Walton Tri-Series in Ireland which concluded on Friday. 

Jasprit Bumrah said Mumbai Indians never doubted their ability to claim a record fourth Indian Premier League title after they dethroned Chennai Super Kings in the most dramatic fashion.

CSK looked set to retain a trophy they have won three times when they needed nine off the last over to reach their victory target of 150 with Shane Watson at the crease.

MS Dhoni's side required four off two deliveries after Watson - man of the match in last year's final having smashed an unbeaten century - was run out for 80 off 59 balls when coming back for a second after he had been dropped twice by Rahul Chahar.

Lasith Malinga held his nerve by trapping Shardul Thakur leg before with a slower-ball yorker off the last delivery to seal victory two years after Mumbai were also crowned champions with a last-ball win.

Man of the match Bumrah, who removed Dwayne Bravo from a penultimate over that cost only nine runs and claimed 2-14, says self-belief was key to Mumbai coming out on top.

"I'm really happy, we always believed in our team," said the India paceman.

"Whenever we are in tough situations we back each other, stay close and have confidence in each and every individual. On a given day anybody can win us the game. It's a great feeling and we are really happy."

Kieron Pollard top scored with 41 not out off only 25 balls to get the Indians up to 149-8 and the all-rounder knew his knock could be decisive.

"These are the games you want to perform in, they are the games that people remember," said the West Indies international.

"Playing in so many finals, you know the most runs you get on the board, pressure is going to be on them. My aim was to try and stay in until the end. Then Bumrah and Malinga bowled brilliantly, taking the game away from CSK."

Lasith Malinga produced an outstanding exhibition of death bowling to secure a dramatic one-run win over Chennai Super Kings and seal a record fourth Indian Premier League title for Mumbai Indians.

Chennai needed only nine runs off the last over to retain their crown and become the first team to win the IPL four times, but Malinga held his nerve to deny MS Dhoni's side.

CSK required four to win off two balls after Shane Watson was run out for 80 having hesitated going for a second as the tension built in the final over in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Shardul Thakur struck the penultimate delivery for two, but was trapped leg before by the ice-cool Malinga off the final ball to spark huge celebrations from the Indians and their supporters.

There was nobody more relieved than Indians teenager Rahul Chahar, who dropped Watson on 42 and 55.

Deepak Chahar, Rahul's cousin, earlier took 3-26 and Imran Tahir claimed 2-23 to restrict Mumbai to 149-8, Kieron Pollard top scoring with 41 not out off 25 balls.

Watson was named man of the match after smashing an unbeaten century in last year's final against Sunrisers Hyderabad and looked set to see CSK home again, but fellow veteran Malinga was the hero on this occasion.

Chennai have now lost three out of four deciders they have played against Mumbai, who were worthy champions after being top at the end of the regular season.

Trinbago Knight Riders announced today that they have signed Kieron Pollard as their Marquee Player for the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which will be played from 4 September 4 to 12 October 2019. 

Top Windies T20 batsman Kieron Pollard will return to his home nation of Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the new Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

The 31-year-old previously represented the twin-island republic in Twenty20 cricket as part of a national team that contested the now defunct Caribbean Twenty20 league.  Since the inception of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) the big batsman has plied his trade elsewhere.  He spent five seasons with Barbados Tridents and the last one with St Lucia Stars.

Pollard has, however, been named the franchise player for the Trinbago Knight Riders for the upcoming edition of the tournament.

"We are delighted to welcome Pollard back home and it's great to continue our efforts to bring as many Trini boys home as possible," Venky Mysore, the team director, said in a statement.

"I can't wait for the reaction of the fans when Pollard takes the field at our opening game on 4 September."

The Knight Riders, who have won the two previous editions of the tournament, previously had both T&T nationals Darren and Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin and spinner Sunil Narine in its ranks as T&T nationals.  Pollard previously captained the Barbados Tridents.

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara believes the current form of senior players in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign is a real fillip for the region.

With the 2019 World Cup just a little over a month away Windies stars Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have put on some impressive displays with the bat in the IPL to date.  After starting slowly for Mumbai Indians Pollard has picked up steam in recent week, hitting a crucial 46 against Sunrisers Hyderabad before an outrageous 83 against Kings XI Punjab.

Russell has been one of the players of the tournament to date, after scoring 377 runs and claiming seven wickets in 9 matches.

It remains to be seen whether any of the players, who have been outside of the One Day International set-up for several months, will be selected to the final Windies squad.  Lara, however, believes the form of the players makes them nice options to have.

“Cricketers from the West Indies have been doing well in this edition of the Indian Premier League. A few players from other nations are also making good contributions. Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell have been pretty consistent and that augurs well for West Indies cricket. Even Chris Gayle has fired on a couple of occasions, but you need to look out for guys who are making contribution regularly,” Lara said.

“The West Indies players bring their whole-hearted effort in every performance. They are not playing for the West Indies national team, so the IPL is their opportunity to shine.”

 

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt has insisted that the newly formed body is determined to dispel the 'myth’ that several of the team’s senior players are no longer interested in representing the team.

In recent years several of the region’s most high-profile players have found themselves at odds with the regional program’s selectors as heavy T20 league schedule has often clashed with the international game.  For various reasons T20 stars like Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who retired from the sport last year, have not consistently represented the region.

Since taking over the office, however, Skerritt and his administration have dismissed the Courtney Browne-led selection panel and installed Robert Haynes.  The administration has since begun to reach out to the players, including Bravo.

“There's a myth that our elite players don't want to play for the West Indies. Over the last couple of weeks, we've engaged several of them and prior to the election, I personally engaged several of them and the desire and hunger to play for their West Indian colours is as strong as ever,” Skerritt said.

“What we have to do is to make sure we put systems in place that can respect the players and help the players to respect their responsibility when they are actually involved in West Indies cricket, and do it in a way that is clearly communicated and that there's mutual respect and understanding,” he added.

“I have no doubt that in the hearts and in the minds of all of these players, the performance of the West Indies team and being involved in a successful West Indies team setup is important to them.”

Kieron Pollard has made it publicly clear that he is very interested in making the Windies team to the World Cup. Pollard's statements came after Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt revamped the Windies coaching staff and selection panel ahead of the marquee event. Does Pollard have a legitimate claim for a spot?

Windies all-rounder Kieron Pollard has admitted he is hopeful of a recall to the regional team, following the recent change of regime and appointment of a fresh panel of selectors.

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt announced several changes to the administration on Thursday.  Robert Haynes was named to replace Courtney Browne as chairman of selectors, with Floyd Reifer replacing Richard Pybus as interim Windies coach to name a few.  In addition, the entire panel of selectors has been dismissed.

Pybus, who led the team to a surprise win over England in the Test series and a 2-2 draw in the One Day Internationals (ODI), was expected to take the team to the World Cup.  The 31-year-old Pollard, who was previously called to the Windies squad ahead of the ICC World Cup qualifiers, was not expected to factor in the occasion. 

The Trinidadian had made himself unavailable prior to the World Cup qualifiers, after taking issue with just being given four days to respond and prior commitments to take part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).  The player, however, continued to express an interest in continuing to represent the team and hopes the latest changes will give him another chance.

 “There has been a lot of turmoil in West Indies cricket over the last couple of years. I was blacklisted. We have seen in the last couple of weeks there’s a change. The most I can do every time I step on the cricket field is try to put runs on the board,” he said in reference to the appointment of Skerritt as CWI president.

“We have a new chairman of selectors, there’s a new president of the cricket board, and as I said you take it as it comes. There’s people there who have the job to select and whatever and let’s see how that goes. I’m 31 years old, I have cricket left in me. Gayle is still playing, he’s 39, and he’s whacking it all around.”

Pollard recently showed plenty of quality in the IPL, smashing an astounding 83 off just 31 balls for Mumbai Indians, which upstaged Gayle’s Kings XI Punjab earlier this week. 

Stand-in captain Kieron Pollard led from the front in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday, helping Mumbai Indians make it three wins in a row with victory over Kings XI Punjab.

With Rohit Sharma rested due to a tight leg muscle, Pollard was charged with leading Mumbai and he did so with aplomb, hitting a stunning 83 to help secure a dramatic three-wicket triumph.

Pollard crushed a massive 10 sixes is in his 31-ball innings, but a loose hook to deep midwicket left Mumbai needing four to win off as many balls.

Rahul Chahar and Alzarri Joseph reduced that equation down to two off the final delivery and the latter produced the winning blow, a straight drive allowing the pair to scamper through and seal victory.

Pollard strode to the crease with his side 56-2 and in need of an injection of pace, and he duly delivered with a destructive display that saw Sam Curran take much of the punishment.

Hardik Pandya (19) offered him some support but poor decision-making from the Kings XI bowlers allowed Pollard to keep the home crowd believing.

Mumbai's successful run chase came after KL Rahul had reminded everyone of his batting talent with a first IPL century at the top of the order.

Rahul, as well as India team-mate Pandya, had been called before a Board of Control for Cricket in India ombudsman to explain controversial comments made on a television show.

Any possible disciplinary action did not weigh on his shoulders, though, as he hit an unbeaten 64-ball hundred to help Kings XI reach 197-4 from their 20 overs – ably assisted by Chris Gayle.

However, their 116-run opening stand was not enough as Kings XI slipped to a third defeat of the campaign.
 

POLLARD PUNISHES CURRAN

Curran had claimed an IPL hat-trick earlier in the competition but there were no heroics this time for the England all-rounder as Pollard targeted him.

The West Indian launched six maximums off Curran's bowling and added two fours to make it 44 runs in boundaries off the 20-year-old.

Curran – who was announced as one of Wisden's cricketers of the year earlier on Wednesday – finished with figures of 1-54 from his four overs – his worst of the campaign to date.

WINDIES STARS BRING THE RUNS

If Pollard's brutal display of hitting helped finish the game in style, Gayle's equally impressive knock had kicked things off beautifully.

While Rahul carefully picked the gaps, left-hander Gayle bludgeoned the Mumbai bowling like only he can.

His 36-ball 63 included seven maximums and looked like being another match-winning display until Pollard’s second-innings fireworks.

Alzarri Joseph made history on a sensational Indian Premier League debut, leading Mumbai Indians to a convincing 40-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

West Indies paceman Joseph claimed the best bowling figures in IPL history as he picked up 6-12 from his 3.4 overs, surpassing Sohail Tanvir's haul of 6-14 back in 2008.

The 22-year-old's efforts were also the eighth-best in a Twenty20 game.

Kieron Pollard had earlier lifted Mumbai from 65-5 with an unbeaten 46 off just 26 balls, helping set the Sunrisers a target of 137.

Jonny Bairstow (16) and David Warner (15) got Hyderabad off to a solid start, but the hosts lost their final five wickets for just eight runs in an astonishing collapse.

Joseph sparked the incredible finale by removing Deepak Hooda (20) and he ended it with 14 balls remaining by drawing an outside edge from Siddarth Kaul (0) that was snaffled by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

 

JOSEPH'S DREAM DEBUT

There cannot be many better ways to begin your first IPL appearance than by removing one of the competition's leading run scorers with your first delivery. That is precisely what Joseph did.

Warner – who sits fourth in the list of all-time IPL runs – attempted to play a huge shot to the boundary at the start of the fifth over but only edged Joseph back onto his stumps.

After Windies quick removed Hooda and Rashid Khan off successive deliveries in the 16th over, Hyderabad wilted and Mumbai surged to an impressive victory.

 

POLLARD PUNISHES SUNRISERS

Mumbai were sitting uncomfortably at 97-7 at the end of the 18th over, with Pollard making just nine off the first 13 balls he faced.

However, the 31-year-old plundered a trio of powerful maximums – one from a free hit – off the next set of six from Kaul.

The final over saw Pollard add another six and a pair of fours, with some sloppy fielding from Mohammad Nabi and Hooda proving key as the game turned on its head.

Five West Indians have been retained to their various teams for the Indian Premier League’s 2019 season. 

Lahore Qalandars selected AB de Villiers as first pick in the Pakistan Super League draft and Steve Smith was snapped up by a yet-to-be-named franchise on Tuesday.

De Villiers was the prized selection as a 'Platinum' player for a tournament which gets under way in February.

Mohammad Hafeez, Carlos Brathwaite and Yasir Shah will be among the former South Africa captain's Qalandars team-mates.

Banned ex-Australia skipper Smith was recruited by a 'sixth team' - formerly Multan Sultans - to play alongside the likes of Mohammad Abbas, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik.

Defending champions Islamabad United brought in former England batsman Ian Bell and secured a return for his compatriot Samit Patel.

Kieron Pollard will play for Peshawar Zalmi, while fellow West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was picked by Quetta Gladiators.

 

Winning Super50 Cup captain, Carlos Brathwaite will turn his attention to the West Indies as he heads a 14-man squad for three T20Is against India, starting on Sunday. 

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