England selectors have not included pace bowler Jofra Archer in their preliminary 15-man World Cup squad but have included him in the warm-up series before the extravaganza against Pakistan and Ireland.
The Barbados born Archer, 24, had qualified for representing England following a change in residency rules in March.
He could still be included in the final World Cup squad if he impresses in the warm-up fixtures as changes can be made to the squads until May 23.
England play Ireland on May 3 before a five-match series against Pakistan. The series has become doubly important with Alex Hales suspended for violation of the recreational drug use for a second time in a short period.
“The selection panel has been impressed with Jofra Archer’s performances in domestic and franchise cricket,” said national selector Ed Smith. “He is a very talented and exciting cricketer.”
England’s Chris Woakes had questioned Archer’s potential inclusion and said it would “not be fair morally” to pick him for the World Cup, hosted by England and Wales, which begins on May 30.
Archer has played only 14 ODIs in his career but has impressed in T20 cricket where he represents Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
“If he was to come in and someone was to miss out, it would be extremely unfortunate,” Woakes was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. “It probably wouldn’t be fair, morally, but at the same time it’s the nature of international sport.”
Woakes said: “We’ve been a tight-knit group for the last two to three years, played some really strong cricket, won a lot of series
“Apart from a personal level, I wouldn’t want to see any of my mates and team-mates miss out.
“But it’s the nature of international cricket that there is always someone knocking on the door.
“I don’t think it would disrupt the team because everyone would find a way to move on and we’re trying to win a World Cup for England – that’s the bigger picture.”
ECB said players “selected in the squads, who are currently playing in the IPL, will return to England on or before 26 April”. The preliminary World Cup squad is unchanged from the winter one-day series against the West Indies.
England 15-man World Cup squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
England’s 17-man squad to play Pakistan ODIs: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
England’s 14-man squad to play Ireland ODI and Pakistan T20I: Eoin Morgan (captain), Jofra Archer, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood