England have left out Jofra Archer from their squad of 15 for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 at home, going instead with the same set of players who featured in the one-day internationals against West Indies earlier this year.
The door, however, is not closed on Archer's World Cup aspirations: he has been named in the squads for the Ireland and Pakistan one-day internationals and he could potentially, based on his performances, still make it to the final squad in time for the first World Cup match on 30 May.
The pace options for the Eoin Morgan-led preliminary squad thus remain Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Tom Curran and Ben Stokes.
Willey, although he was a part of the squad, did not feature in the ODIs against West Indies. However, the selectors have retained their faith in him and Joe Denly, who is a capable batsman and can serve as a back-up leg-spinner to Adil Rashid.
England's batting has been their strength and there were few surprises as the selectors stuck to a tried and tested line-up. Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler make for a settled line-up. Rashid and Moeen Ali will be the main spinners, with Denly and Root's part-time spin supporting them.
England's selectors clarified that the squad announced on Wednesday, 17 April, was a "preliminary" one, and that England would finalise their final 15-man World Cup squad after the five-match ODI series against Pakistan, which culminates on 19 May. “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. 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," said Ed Smith, the national selector.
Archer and Chris Jordan are the two additional names in the squads for the one-off ODI against Ireland, as well as the the five ODIs and one-off T20I against Pakistan, ahead of the World Cup. The 14-member squad for the Ireland ODI and Pakistan T20I also features Sam Billings and James Vince, whereas the squad for the Pakistan ODIs is an expanded 17-member one, featuring Jordan and Archer in addition to the 15 World Cup members.
Archer is likely to make his ODI debut for England against Ireland. “The selection panel has been impressed with Jofra Archer’s performances in domestic and franchise cricket. He is a very talented and exciting cricketer," said Smith.
As for Jordan, who could play his first ODI since September 2016, the selector said, "Chris Jordan, a regular in T20I squads over the past few years, has continued to develop as a cricketer – as we saw in the T20Is in the West Indies. He fully deserves his return to the ODI squad."
Sam Billings and Joe Vince will turn out against Ireland and in the T20I against Pakistan. Ali, Bairstow, Buttler, Stokes and Woakes have been rested for these two games.
England, the No.1 side on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, are among the favourites to lift the trophy at home. They begin their campaign against South Africa.
World Cup squad: Eoin Morgan (c), 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 ODIs: Eoin Morgan (c), 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 and Pakistan T20I: Eoin Morgan (c), 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