Harry Brook has been added to England’s squad for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand and named in an experimental group to face Ireland later this month, as the defending champions consider rejigging their World Cup plans to accommodate the in-form batter.
Brook was controversially left out of the provisional 15-man squad for the tournament last month and, as a result, was not due to feature against New Zealand, with Jos Buttler and Matthew Mott looking to use a run of four matches to fine-tune ahead of the tournament in India.
However, the 24-year-old has since showcased his fine form in both the Hundred and the T20 series against New Zealand, leading to widespread calls for a rethink of his exclusion. Mott stressed following last night’s Fourth T20 defeat to the Black Caps at Trent Bridge that the door to a late World Cup call-up remains ajar and while there are no guarantees yet that Brook will earn a seat on the flight to India, he is set for a further chance to state his case when joining up with the 50-over side ahead of Friday’s series opener in Cardiff.
His belated call-up is being officially described as to provide “batting cover” after Jonny Bairstow complained of shoulder pain while batting in Nottingham last night, though the opener insisted afterwards the issue is nothing serious.
England have also named a 13-man squad for the three-match ODI series against Ireland at the back end of the month, with Brook again included and Test opener Zak Crawley set to captain.
None of the 15 players named in the provisional World Cup squad are involved, but Surrey’s Jamie Smith, Derbyshire’s George Scrimshaw and Sam Hain of Warwickshire all receive their first senior call-ups.
Seamer Brydon Carse, who like Brook was called up late as cover for the New Zealand series but is not currently part of the World Cup squad, is also included, as is teenager spinner Rehan Ahmed, who took two wickets on his home debut in Nottingham last night and has been touted for a possible place as a World Cup reserve.
Crawley’s Test opening partner Ben Duckett has been named as vice-captain after being unused during the four T20s against New Zealand, and there are further opportunities for the likes of Luke Wood, Will Jacks and Phil Salt.
England squad to face Ireland: Zak Crawley (captain), Rehan Ahmed, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Ben Duckett, Sam Hain, Will Jacks, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Phil Salt, George Scrimshaw, Jamie Smith, Luke Wood.