A look at all the squads ahead of this year’s World Cup
It’s less than a month before the ICC World Cup gets underway, with England playing South Africa at the Oval.
At last, the ten teams have named their provisional squads, and while they have until 22 May to make last-minute changes, these are likely to take the form of minor tweaks. Let’s take a look at some of the key names from each squad.
31 year old fast bowler Hamid Hassan is welcomed back having been absent from the side since July 2016. However, it is the spinners who are likely to have the biggest impact if Afghanistan are to live up to their “dark horse” reputation. Three have been named in the 15-man squad, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Steve Smith and David Warner were predictably parachuted straight into Australia’s squad as soon as they became eligible after serving their bans. The defending champions have had a difficult year, and this is the first World Cup in memory that they have not been pre-tournament favourites. However, as this Guide to Cricket World Cup 2019 points out, Australia should never be underestimated, and the returning stars will have a point to prove. Pace bowler Josh Hazlewood is still not back to full fitness and has been left out.
Young swing bowler Abu Jayed has earned a place in the Bangladesh squad after being the pick of the bowlers in an otherwise chastening test series against New Zealand. Middle order batsman Mosaddek Hossain has also made the cut, despite limited opportunities to date – he was last seen in the Asia Cup last September.
The biggest news from Team England is that mercurial opener Alex Hales has been withdrawn for reasons that have nothing to do with cricket. Following his involvement in the Ben Stokes scandal, he has now been in more trouble for his use of recreational drugs. Jofra Archer is also significant by his absence. The youngster is probably the most famous cricketer England has never seen, given the media hype since his impressive IPL performances.
Few surprises here, as Virat Kohli’s men practically picked themselves. Risbah Pant will be disappointed to have missed out on the second wicketkeeper slot, with the team deciding to go instead for the experience of Dinesh Karthik, who at 33 is 12 years Pant’s senior.
28 seems a little late in life for making an ODI debut, but wicketkeeper Tom Blundell will have a chance to do exactly that. He is named in the squad as backup to first choice keeper Tom Latham, largely as a result of Tim Seifert being out of action with a broken finger. The other notable name is Ish Sodhi, who got the call ahead of Todd Astle as second spinner.
Pakistan had no room in the squad for Mohammad Amir. Despite a solid performance in the Champions Trophy, he has struggled to find wickets ever since. At the top of the order, Asif Ali will be one to watch. Pakistan is one team that is liable to make some changes between now and 22 May, so don’t be surprise if Amir gets a reprieve at the eleventh hour.
Veteran opener Hashim Amla stands at the top of the South African squad sheet, but the decision has not been greeted warmly from all quarters. Just one century in his last 16 ODIs suggests that the 36 year old is no longer the power he once was. Quick bowlers Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi have both been named, despite fitness doubts, while explosive batsman Rassie van der Dussen, who made his international debut three months ago, has made the cut at the expense of Reeza Hendricks.
Sri Lanka will be looking for young blood to repeat the heroics of World Cups gone by after a dismal few years. Former captain Dinesh Chandimal and openers Upul Tharanga and Danushka Gunathilaka have all been shown the door, while all-rounders Jeevan Mendis and Milinda Siriwardana are back in the fold. Angelo Mathews is one familiar name, adding a touch of experience to proceedings.
Chris Gayle will be leading from the front in an incredible fifth World Cup campaign. He will be joined by all-rounder Andre Russell, who has been in sparkling form in the IPL. Shannon Gabriel’s return will add a pinch of spice, and expect big things from the lightning fast youngster Oshane Thomas.
©Cricket World 2019