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Archer and Dawson earn World Cup spots as Denly and Willey miss out

Jofra Archer is included in England’s World Cup squad (John Walton/PA)
Jofra Archer is included in England’s World Cup squad (John Walton/PA)

With Jofra Archer’s inclusion in England’s World Cup squad long considered a formality, it was spinner Liam Dawson who assumed the role of ‘bolter’ as Joe Denly and David Willey saw their tournament dreams dashed.

National selector Ed Smith named England’s final 15 at Lord’s on Tuesday, with three changes from the preliminary group submitted last month.

Off-field transgressions forced Alex Hales’ removal and James Vince’s promotion, Archer’s impressive early outings on the international stage saw him leapfrog Willey, while Dawson was brought in from the cold in place of all-rounder Denly.

While Denly will be sorely frustrated, he is a relative newcomer to the squad himself, unlike Willey.

The left-armer has played in 46 of England’s 88 one-day internationals since the last tournament, and carried drinks at plenty more, but was deemed most dispensable once Archer’s talents became apparent.

“What can I say, I’m absolutely gutted. Still 100% behind the lads. On a positive…..still winning at life!!” the Yorkshire all-rounder tweeted a couple of hours after the announcement.

Smith, having been the bearer of both bad and good news, paid tribute to Willey’s stoic reaction after being culled.

“I spoke to David, he’s an outstanding man,” Smith told Sky.

“He’s very honest, dignified. He’s a very impressive man and cricketer. The new-ball area is strong and David Willey was unfortunate. He could easily have been in the World Cup squad, he deserved to be in.

“It was a very difficult situation we were in as a panel. We had more players than we were allowed.”

Archer, Barbados-born to an English father, only qualified under revised residency rules in March and looks set to be a major factor in the competition.

The highly-rated Jofra Archer is expected to play a major role for England at the World Cup
The highly-rated Jofra Archer is expected to play a major role for England at the World Cup (John Walton/PA)

Hailed as an “outstanding talent” by Smith, the 24-year-old paceman was delighted to get the nod.

“I got a call from Ed yesterday about 6pm. I was driving at the time,” he said.

“I felt the phone vibrate, I answered without looking at it. It is really exciting to be part of a big summer for English cricket.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket, I know how to deal with pressure, crowds, I think I’m ready.”

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