Jason Roy - Out of World Cup 2023 Squad
Jason Roy - Out of World Cup 2023 Squad

Defending champions England have made a big call ahead of the 2023 Cricket World Cup by leaving opening batsman Jason Roy out of their squad. He was a big part of their success four years ago when they lifted the trophy for the first time at Lord’s.

Roy was initially named in Jos Buttler’s squad, but he was unable to play any of England’s warm-up matches for the World Cup due to back spasms. Although he deemed himself fit for the tournament in India, England opted to remove him from the squad and him the opportunity to be on their reserve list.

The 33-year-old has played 116 ODIs for England, scoring 4,271 runs and averaging an impressive 39.91. His top score of 180 was England’s highest innings in ODI cricket until Ben Stokes broke that record against New Zealand at the Oval earlier this year.

Roy ended his incremental contract with the ECB back in May to play in the new franchise league in the United States, Major League Cricket. This latest decision by England means he may now have played his final game for his country.

Harry Brook Proved Himself in the New Zealand Series

The absence of Roy has left space for Brook to feature at the World Cup. The Yorkshire player has been one of England’s most exciting batsmen in all three formats of the game over the last 12 months. He showed his quality at the T20 World Cup in 2022 and during the Ashes against Australia last summer.

Brook has only played five ODIs in his career so far, but he has plenty of white-ball experience. He scored 238 runs during The Hundred in 2023, the third highest in the tournament, including a century, while he has also played IPL cricket in India for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

One of the reasons England decided to go with Brook over Roy is his versatility to bat anywhere between one and six in the team. He opened the batting for Hyderabad at the 2023 IPL, while he has shown for England, he can come into the crease at the back end of an innings and score some valuable runs quickly.

With Brook now in the squad, as of September 26, England is second best at +300 in the cricket betting for the World Cup. They have only hosts India ahead of them in the outright market. 

Ben Stokes Comes Out of Retirement

England Test captain Stokes made a U-turn on his retirement from ODI cricket during the summer to play in the 2023 Cricket World Cup. He will feature in the ODI tournament as a specialist batsman, as his knee injury restricts him from bowling as an all-rounder.

In his opening series back in the ODI team, Stokes showed his worth in that recording-breaking 182-run innings against the Kiwis. He hit 15 fours and nine sixes, with his runs scoring from just 124 balls.  

As well as being a talented batsman, Stokes’ experience is going to prove invaluable for the defending champions. He was part of the team which lifted the trophy in 2019 and he has been a key figure in all three England teams since making his debut in 2011. The big-hitting batsman will be doing all he can to help his side overcome the number one-ranked team in the world, India, and their other rivals in the competition.

Comfortable New Zealand Series Win

England head to India in good form following their 3-1 series win against New Zealand. After losing the opening game of that four-match series in Cardiff, wins followed at the Rose Bowl, the Oval, and Lord’s. The home team showed exactly why they are one of the leading contenders for the trophy at the World Cup.

Dawid Malan was the leading runscorer in the series against the Kiwis with 277 runs, and he showed that he can open the batting successfully in the team alongside Jonny Bairstow. The highlight for the 35-year-old was his century at Lord’s in the fourth ODI.

Buttler’s side will face India and Bangladesh in warm-up matches, before they feature in the opening game of the Cricket World Cup against New Zealand on October 5. That will be the first of 48 matches in India.

If England can defend their trophy in this year’s edition of the leading tournament in cricket, they will become the first team to win back-to-back renewals since Australia managed that feat in 2007.