England has made a last adjustment to their World Cup plans, replacing Jason Roy with Harry Brook from their provisional squad. Roy, 33, was a key member of the team’s revival in the format as well as their title run four years ago but has had inconsistent results since then.
He missed the entire four-ODI series against New Zealand because of back issues. While skipper Jos Buttler suggested that he might be included in the squad to face Ireland later this week, the selectors decided to leave him out entirely. This decision could spell the end of Roy’s international career since he already stated that the showpiece quadrennial event would be his last after turning down a central deal with ECB.
Roy produced critical centuries in Bloemfontein and Mirpur this year, but his overall average of 31.78 in the period following the World Cup and his recent back injury effectively sealed his fate. In a double whammy for him, Dawid Malan scored 277 runs in three games at 92.33 against New Zealand and was named Player of the Series, securing his spot in the side.
“We have selected a squad that we are confident can go to India and win the World Cup,” England’s national selector Luke Wright stated. “We are blessed with an incredibly strong group of white-ball players, as evidenced by our series victory over a very good New Zealand team.”
“Because of the group’s strength, we had to make some difficult decisions on world-class players, with Jason Roy missing out and Harry Brook joining the squad.”
Brook, Roy’s successor in the squad, was initially left out of the provisional squad after veteran Ben Stokes announced his retirement and made himself available for the ODI World Cup defence. He appeared in three of the four games against New Zealand, twice as an opener, but only scored 25, 2 and 10 points. He has, however, had an otherwise outstanding start to his international career in the previous year and a half, notably in the Test format, thanks to his aggressive middle-order efforts.