Plunkett targeting T20 World Cup return after white-ball exile

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Despite not having played any part in the England side since the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final, fast bowler Liam Plunkett has not given up hope of making a comeback at this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Plunkett played a starring role in England lifting the 50-over crown for the first time, snaring 3/42 in the final, his scalps including those of Henry Nicholls, James Neesham and the big fish Kane Williamson. 

However, he was omitted from England’s centrally contracted white-ball players for 2019/20, despite having been their most successful seamer in ODIs since the previous ODI World Cup in 2015.

Video cwc19 14 Jul 19
CWC19 Final: NZ v ENG – Liam Plunkett bowling highlights

Plunkett did have his share of issues, though, most notably a visible drop in pace that had put him behind Chris Woakes, David Willey and the Curran brothers, Tom and Sam, in England’s plans. Ashley Giles, the ECB’s director of men’s cricket, summed up the opinion within the board when he said that Plunkett didn’t fit into England’s needs over a four-year cycle featuring two T20 World Cups and another 50-over World Cup.

Plunkett went on record expressing his disappointment at the snub, but has since moved on to turn his attention to the T20 World Cup."I am fully committed to making a comeback to the England squad in my bid to play the T20 World Cup later this year and that is my priority currently," Plunkett told Cricbuzz.

The developments of the last few months have led to speculation that Plunkett may consider switching allegiance to the United States of America, a probability that arose from the nationality of Plunkett’s wife, who is an American citizen.

Liam Plunkett was one of the heroes of the epic 2019 World Cup final
Liam Plunkett was one of the heroes of the epic 2019 World Cup final

For Plunkett to gain eligibility to represent the US national team, he needs to spend more than 181 days in the country for three successive calendar years. But with a Surrey contract that expires only in 2021, there is no immediate probability of a change in national camp.

"I have a contract with Surrey until the end of the 2021 season," he said. "And if I feel confident about maintaining a level of form and fitness befitting that of a professional cricketer then I would certainly like to carry on playing County cricket beyond 2021 as well."

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