Matthew Mott has left the door open for Harry Brook to make England’s World Cup squad, but intriguingly hinted that his next cricket could come in the ODI series against Ireland later this month, rather than in the upcoming games against New Zealand.
England named a 15-man squad for the New Zealand series last month, with national selector Luke Wright saying at the time that the same group would go to India for the World Cup, barring any late changes for reasons such as injury.
Brook, a breakout star at international level over the last 12 months, was a hugely controversial omission from that group and has since pushed his case with a run of good form in both the Hundred and England’s T20 series against the Black Caps, which finished in a 2-2 draw after the tourists’ six-wicket victory at Trent Bridge on Tuesday night.
Speaking after that game, England head coach Mott insisted the squad named last month remains provisional, with teams permitted to make changes until the ICC’s deadline on September 28.
Asked if the door remains open for Brook, he said: “Yes, it is. He is one of a number of players who has an opportunity to put their hand up.
“What I would say about Harry is that what you want to see from players when they miss out on a squad, is you want them to come out and slam that door down and I thought at the start of this series, and with his hundred in the Hundred, he made a real statement.
“Those are all good things that go in his favour. It is still open for debate and there will be plenty of good cricket played in the next month so we’ll see what that squad ends up looking like.”
England’s World Cup preparations ramp up as they turn to 50-over cricket for the start of a four-match ODI series against New Zealand in Cardiff on Friday.
The likes of Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes will all come back into what is a full-strength side for those matches, but Brook is not part of the group.
Pressed on whether the young Yorkshire batter would be handed a late call-up, Mott instead suggested he may be involved in the three ODIs against Ireland that follow, a series for which England are expected to name a developmental side given their first World Cup warm-up match takes place in India only four days later.
“He may be in that Ireland squad so you can read into that,” Mott told the BBC. “He’s a gun player and I believe he is going to be one of the best players in his generation.
“It’s just an incredibly hard side to select and to squeeze 15 players into it. It’s not always about just picking the best players. World Cups are sometimes about the what ifs, about what might happen, and we’ve workshopped it a lot. But we are keeping an open mind.
“We’ll sit down with the panel, we’ve thrown some ideas around but we won’t nail it down until we see how this series goes. So yeah, stay ready!”