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Dawson beats Willey to final World Cup spot

Dawson beats Willey to final World Cup spot
© Reuters
Willey has been a mainstay of the side for the last four years

Liam Dawson came in from the cold to take his place in England's World Cup squad, with Joe Denly and David Willey missing the cut.

Dawson, the Hampshire spinner, played the last of his three one-day internationals in October and was not involved in the recent 4-0 series win over Pakistan.

Both Denly and Willey were named in last month's provisional 15 but both men have seen their tournament dreams dashed.

David Willey has missed out on selection
David Willey has missed out on selection (John Walton/PA)

Denly had been lined up as a utility option in the squad, a flexible batsman and a late-blooming leg-spinner, but England have used him sparingly as a bowler. Head coach Trevor Bayliss has admitted that Dawson's slow left-arm spin is more reliable and a strong show in the Royal London Cup has pushed him over the line.

Willey, meanwhile, has paid for the emergence of the exciting Jofra Archer. The Barbados-born quick was yet to make his debut when the preliminary selection was made but swiftly became a must-pick after acing his early auditions on the international stage.

The third and final alteration from the initial squad became a necessity when Alex Hales was discarded following off-field indiscretions. James Vince was added in as his replacement ahead of the Pakistan series and holds his place.

National selector Ed Smith called Archer an "outstanding talent" after naming him in England's squad for the World Cup.

"We've seen Jofra Archer play against Pakistan and we've seen the skills he has," Smith told Sky Sports News.

"It's pretty straightforward. He's an outstanding talent, that's clear to all of us. He has pace, bounce, skill."

Jofra Archer has enchanted the selectors
Jofra Archer has enchanted the selectors (John Walton/PA)

Smith said he had told Willey of the news on Monday.

It will have been a crushing blow for the Yorkshire left-armer, a mainstay of England's limited-overs sides over the last four years.

"I spoke to David, he's an outstanding man," Smith added. "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."


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Eoin Morgan in action for England on October 13, 2018
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