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Cricket World Cup 2023

‘Stunned’ Jofra Archer left speechless after learning of Harry Brook World Cup omission live on air

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Jofra Archer was left speechless after learning that England had left Harry Brook out of their provisional 2023 World Cup squad live on-air.

Brook was the most controversial omission from the 15-strong group, with the return of Ben Stokes, until now retired from ODI cricket, leaving no space for the youngster in the squad. Brook has enjoyed a stellar start to life as a Test cricketer, averaging more than 60 in 12 Tests so far, and while he has played just three ODIs, he is viewed as one of England’s brightest young batting talents.

National selector Luke Wright cited the flexibility of Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone as reasons for England to include that pair over Brook, but described Brook’s axing as “as hard a decision as you’re ever going to get”.


Archer, another notable omission from England’s squad due to injury, was speaking during The Hundred on BBC Sport, several hours after the announcement of the squad, when he was gobsmacked by news that Brook had been dropped.

He learned of the development from England captain Heather Knight. “No Harry Brook I think,” she said, when asked of the biggest surprise in the squad. “He’s obviously a form player that’s had an amazing start to his international career, but someone’s got to miss out and there’s so many players to fit into that squad. It can make it tricky.”

Archer was then asked by pundit Isa Guha for his thoughts on this year’s Hundred competition, but was unable to answer the question as he processed what he had heard. “Sorry, I want to go back to that,” he said. “I didn’t even realise that Brooky was not there. Yeah um… sorry, can you say that again? It’s just got me a bit stunned, can you repeat the question please?”

England’s squad is only a provisional one, and there is precedent for them making changes due to form before the deadline. In 2019, Archer was included in England’s squad after impressing against Pakistan at the expense of David Willey, and both he and Brook are set to be included as travelling reserves, able to be called upon in case of injury. England are among the favourites for the Cricket World Cup, with Betway pricing them at odds of 3/1 to win the competition.

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