LONDON: Jofra Archer’s late bid for an World Cup place was rewarded when the Sussex fast bowler was named in hosts England’s 15-man squad for the tournament announced Tuesday.
Barbados-born Archer only became qualified for England in March and has played just three one-day internationals.
He edged out left-arm quick David Willey, a veteran of 46 ODIs, after both pacemen featured during England’s 4-0 series win at home to Pakistan which concluded Sunday.
There was no place also in a squad, again captained by Eoin Morgan, for back-up spinner and batsman Joe Denly, with Hampshire slow left-armer Liam Dawson — who did not feature against Pakistan — recalled as cover for Adil Rashid, who is nursing a shoulder problem.
Both Denly and Willey were named in England’s provisional squad, as was opener Alex Hales.
James Vince came in after England decided against selecting Hales following the Nottinghamshire batsman’s ban for recreational drug use.
England reduced their qualification period from seven years to three, a move they insisted was solely to bring them into line with the rest of the world rather than advance the selection of paceman Archer — whose father is English.
Even though Willey offered a different angle of attack as the only left-arm quick in contention, Archer’s ability to bowl at 90 mph — and his variety of slower balls — has seen him get the nod.
Willey, who has helped England climb to the top of the ODI rankings following their first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup, was among those who questioned the prospect of Archer playing for England at this year’s edition when the Sussex quick became eligible in March.
“It’s a group of players that have been together for three or four years that have got us to number one,” said Willey, the son of former England batsman Peter Willey.
“And there’s a reason for that. Whether someone should just walk in at the drop of a hat because they are available, whether that’s the right thing, I don’t know.”
England are bidding to win the World Cup for the first time.
They now have two warm-up matches, against Australia in Southampton on Saturday and Afghanistan at The Oval on Monday before launching the tournament against South Africa at The Oval on May 30.
England World Cup squad:
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Tom Curran (Surrey), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Liam Plunkett (Surrey), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Vince (Hampshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)