Cricket World Cup: Ben Stokes welcomes Harry Brook’s England ODI call-up for New Zealand series | Cricket News

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Ben Stokes has welcomed Harry Brook’s addition to the ODI squad for the four-match series against New Zealand starting on Friday.

England Test captain Stokes came out of ODI retirement in August to make himself available for October’s Cricket World Cup.

Brook was left out of England’s provisional 15-man World Cup squad at Stokes’ expense but his inclusion as “batting cover” for the upcoming series against New Zealand will give him a chance to impress before the final squad is confirmed later this month.

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Harry Brook smashed back-to-back sixes over cover during England’s T20 win against New Zealand at Old Trafford

Stokes agreed there was still pressure to perform in the ODI series with Brook already impressing in The Hundred and being in great form for England in the T20I series against the Black Caps.

“You want to feel you are under pressure for your place in the team,” Stokes said.

“That’s the reality of being in a really strong team and we know that competition for places is the best thing for us as a individuals and as a team.

“Harry Brook has been in incredible form over the last 18 months. Everyone is aware of the talent he possesses and how good he is.

“He is going to be around every England squad for the next five to 10 years. I’m sure a lot of final decisions will be made around the form the lads have shown in the series.”

The 32-year-old also remains confident that England will be able to defend their 50-over World Cup title in India. The batter was named player of the match in the 2019 final where England beat New Zealand in a dramatic super over.

“I think everyone knows that we are a very good team and we have a depth of personality to be able to choose from,” said Stokes.

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Michael Atherton expects Harry Brook to be included in England’s final 15-man squad for the Cricket World Cup in India

“Our record has been really good since the World Cup and we like our chances. It’s about who can handle the pressure the best on any given day.

“The teams that can handle the emotional side of the sport is something that should never be overlooked, we know we are a good team but there is also the question of being able to handle the pressure of playing.”

His decision to play the 50-over format means he will not be able to have surgery on his left knee that has caused him problems all year, thus playing as a specialist batter and not bowling.

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Simon Doull and Kumar Sangakkara look at the reasons for Harry Brook’s batting form, including his power and hand speed

However, Stokes hinted at having surgery after the World Cup.

“I’ve had some good conversations with specialists in different fields around rehabilitation and a plan going forward after the World Cup so there will potentially be something happening after that,” Stokes said.

‘The landscape of cricket is changing’

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Watch Mark Wood’s five wickets on his return to the England team on day one of the third Ashes Test at Headingley in July

Stokes was sympathetic to Mark Wood’s offer to play in the United Arab Emirates T20 League which would see the pace bowler turn down a central contract for England and miss the first three matches of their five-Test tour to India in January.

“We know the whole landscape of cricket is changing and that is great for the individuals who are still within the game and great for those who are coming through,” Stokes said.

“If a person makes a decision because they think it’s the best for themselves, the future and security of their families, then it’s very hard to disagree with that.

“I’ve got to understand as a captain that there will be decisions that players make and I’m aware things like that will happen.

“The more opportunities that come, the more people are going to be attracted to the sport and try to make a career out of it. Everyone is at a different point in their life, not just their career, where other things will have to be thought about.”

Having drawn their four-match T20 series against New Zealand 2-2, Jos Buttler side turn their attentions to the 50-over format with four ODIs against the same opposition, starting on Friday at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

The two countries will also face each other in their opening World Cup fixture on Thursday October 5.


Friday 8th September 12:00pm


England ODI squad to face New Zealand: Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.

England’s provisional World Cup squad: Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.

Watch the first ODI between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket from 12pm on Friday (12.30pm first ball).

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