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Matthew Mott suggests that Harry Brook is a potential candidate for inclusion in the England World Cup squad.


Sep 5, 2023

England have dropped their clearest hint yet that Harry Brook will be drafted into their World Cup squad. Matthew Mott, their white-ball coach, repeatedly emphasised on Tuesday that the 15-man squad they have submitted to the ICC is “provisional” and that “there’s a lot of water under the bridge” before they play New Zealand in Ahmedabad on October 5.

Brook was a surprise omission from the squad selected for England’s upcoming four-match ODI series against New Zealand, which doubles as their provisional World Cup squad. He responded with the only century in the men’s Hundred days later, and started England’s T20I series with scores of 43 not out and 67 – though managed only 8 and 4 in the third and fourth matches.

Mott explained that Brook’s initial omission was due to England’s “loyalty” to players who have underpinned their ODI side in recent years, but suggested that most teams in the World Cup would consider “tinkering” with their provisional squad before the ICC’s firm deadline on September 28.

Brydon Carse, who was drafted into England’s ODI squad for the New Zealand series – which starts on Friday in Cardiff – as seam-bowling cover is another bolter who could stake a claim for inclusion in the final 15, having started the T20I series with four wickets in six overs while bowling at high pace.

Jos Buttler, England’s limited-overs captain, previously declined the opportunity to rule Brook out of contention, saying during the Hundred: “There’s still a long time before everyone is meant to get on the plane, so we’ll wait and see what happens.”

But Mott’s comments before Tuesday’s fourth T20I at Trent Bridge were the clearest indication yet that Brook’s recent form has prompted a rethink.

While Brook has only played three ODIs and has not featured in a domestic List A game for four years, he has been hugely impressive in both Test and T20 cricket for England since making his international debut in early 2022.

There is no immediate like-for-like batter in England’s squad: Jason Roy, Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone are the most vulnerable players, but Roy and Malan are both top-order batters while Livingstone offers England a spin-bowling option. They could also change the balance of their squad by leaving out a seamer, such as Gus Atkinson, Reece Topley or David Willey.

“Mott added: “I find it hard, when you look at that 15, to think that anyone doesn’t deserve that spot. When you’re picking teams that are that strong, there’s always going to be a story. If any one of those guys miss out, it’s a story. As I’ve said, there’s time between now and the World Cup.” In an ideal world, we probably don’t have to play our hand until a little bit later but those are the cards we’re dealt. We had to get the squad out before this series. A lot can change: there’s a lot of water under the bridge before we get to that first game against New Zealand.”

By Editor

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