England announced their 15-member squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 on Sunday, September 17. Most of the provisional squad remained the same as the one that played the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, except one as veteran opening batter Jason Roy, who missed the series due to a back spasm.
Roy’s lack of practice owing to an injury and Dawid Malan’s outstanding turn in top-order winning the player of the series meant the 2019 World Cup winner was left out of the squad with the opportunity arising for the 24-year-old Harry Brook, who missed out on selection in the New Zealand series but was later brought in as a cover.
Chief selector Luke Wright revealed that things changed after Malan’s performance and that he will open alongside Jonny Bairstow in the World Cup but admitted that Roy will be gutted. Wright was quick to mention that if Roy is still available to play for England, then he will be the first name as the reserve top-order batter.
“We realised things had slightly changed and Dawid would be the one opening the batting with Jonny in the World Cup. Then really it was a case of the spare batter and what did that look like? From Jason’s point of view, he probably only covers us for an opener. Harry gives us that cover from No 1 to No 6,” Wright was quoted as saying by Evening Standard.
“As reserve batter at top of the order, we’ve made it very clear that we still see him as the man to do that,” Wright added. “We’ve spoken to him about that and he has time to reflect over the next few days. It is obviously not an easy pill to swallow.
“The earlier response was that he’s still available for England. Now unless that’s changed, at the moment that’s how we see it. So for a top order reserve batter then Jason is going to be our man,” Wright added.
England are playing a three-match ODI series against Ireland with a second-string squad but reportedly, Roy has decided not to play in those three matches. Wright mentioned that it will be difficult for Roy to make himself available for at least the first game as he will take a few days to reflect on the non-selection. Brook is the only member of the World Cup squad in the Zak Crawley-led side for three ODIs against Ireland starting Wednesday, September 20 at Headingley in Leeds.