England include Ballance in World Cup squad

"We've seen his remarkable achievements in the Test series and believe he is a good option for the balance of the team"

“We’ve seen his remarkable achievements in the Test series and believe he is a good option for the balance of the team”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

England have included Gary Ballance in their 15-man World Cup squad as a replacement for former ODI captain Alastair Cook.

In addition to Cook, all-rounder Ben Stokes and left-arm pace bowler Harry Gurney were the two other notable exclusions.

Stokes was dropped following his poor performance in the recently concluded seven-match ODI series against Sri Lanka. During that series, Stokes conceded 85 runs from eight overs and only managed scores of 16 and 6.

“I’ve spoken to Ben at length and he was very disappointed as you can imagine,” national selector James Whitaker told Sky Sports. “It’s always going to tricky as a new player in a squad establishing yourself. There will be different positions you have to try and establish yourself in but he was obviously disappointed. We are looking for consistency and we are sure that will arrive with Ben. We have always understood his talent. He’s definitely a player for the future and will form a core part of our group in the future.

“Gary has been identified as a world class player in pretty much all forms of the game for the future. He’s had his introduction to one-day cricket in Australia and played briefly this summer. We’ve been earmarking him as a squad player and a first choice player for some months.

“He missed out in Sri Lanka but kept practicing and performing well for the performance programme and he’s got a great future. We’ve seen his remarkable achievements in the Test series and believe he is a good option for the balance of the team.”

The pace duo of Stuart Broad and James Anderson have also been included in the World Cup squad since both of them have recovered from their respective knee injuries.

“Until they get on the park and bowl there is a bit of an unknown but we are confident with their history and experience that they are capable of re-emerging into the team,” Whitaker said. “A lot of fast bowlers have to manage injuries and niggles.

“We have had to make some difficult decisions to get to our final squad but firmly believe that the 15 players selected offer the very best chance of success at the World Cup.”

England’s World Cup squad: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes

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