Pakistani descent pace bowler Ajmal Shahzad is among the 15-man English squad announced Wednesday for the upcoming ICC World Cup being hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and commencing from February 19.
The Yorkshire pace man is already in the English one-day team currently engaged in the ODI series against Australia. Also included in the squad is all rounder Stuart Broad who had to pull of the Ashes series after the first Test due to abdominal injury.
The squad is: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex) (Captain),James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire),Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham),Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Matt Prior (Sussex), Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire),Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire),James Tredwell (Kent), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex), Michael Yardy (Sussex).
Speaking on the team, chief selector and former off-spinner Geoff Miller, said: “We believe we have selected an extremely exciting World Cup squad that offers balance with several options across the entire squad.
“With this tournament being staged on the subcontinent the conditions will require a specific style of cricket and we feel that we’ve selected a squad that can prosper in these conditions.
“Under the leadership of Andrew Strauss we certainly feel we have a squad that can make strong progress in this World Cup as we seek to add to the success of ICC World Twenty20 from last year.”
Regarding Broad, the Miller said he is making strong progress in his rehabilitation and expect to a make full recovery by the time the squad departs for the sub-continent. His inclusion in the party is a major boost given his quality with both ball and bat.
Miller thought that spinners will play a big part in the World Cup. “With spin bowlers set to play a prominent role in this World Cup we feel we have quality and depth in Graeme Swann, Michael Yardy and James Tredwell who have all shown their capabilities at international level.”
Regard batting he said :”We have several batsmen and pace bowlers that have been successful on the ODI stage while offering an encouraging blend of conventional and innovative approaches.
“Paul Collingwood may not have scored as many runs as he would have liked so far on the tour of Australia but he has been a consistently strong performer for England in limited overs cricket for a long period of time. His experience, ODI knowledge and skills across all three facets of the game make him a valuable member of the squad and he’ll be looking to make a big impact at another global event.”
England is placed in Group B along side Netherlands, India, Ireland, South Africa, Bangladesh and West Indies.