World Cup door not closed on Brook, says England captain Buttler

AFP / Oli Scarff

Harry Brook could still be part of England's World Cup title defence despite failing to find a place in the original 15-member squad for the 50-overs cricket showpiece event in India later this year, skipper Jos Buttler said.

With Ben Stokes back in the squad after reversing his retirement from the one-day format, England dropped Brook - whose explosive batting was in full display on Tuesday when he smashed a 41-ball century in The Hundred competition - from the lineup.

But the 24-year-old is set to travel to India as a reserve player, and England can change their provisional squad until September 28.

"There's still a long time before everyone's meant to get on the plane, so we'll wait and see what happens," Buttler said on Friday.

"We all know Harry's a fantastic player, and we saw what he can do the other night. It's not like it's a surprise, we know what a brilliant player he is.

"He's just the unfortunate one at the moment to not be in that squad. Ben Stokes coming back and being available just as a batter changes the dynamic a little bit."

A key architect of England's World Cup triumphs in 2019 (ODI) and 2022 (T20), test captain Stokes announced his shock ODI retirement in July last year, citing his workload. But he reversed course this month and was picked for the upcoming home series against New Zealand.

England is more than happy to greet him back into the ODI squad, even though the talismanic all-rounder, who has been grappling with a troublesome knee of late, will play as a specialist batter.

"Ben's a fantastic player to be able to welcome back," Buttler said.

"It's a really tough selection, there have been players performing really well over a period of time, and that's where we are at the minute."

England will begin their title defence against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on October 5 in a rematch of the 2019 final.

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