ICC World Cup 2019: 8 heartbreaking exclusions from the tournament
These players deserved a chance.
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With the deadline for the announcement of squads approaching, many of the teams have already named their 15-member contingent for the World Cup 2019. While most of the players picked by the teams were on the expected lines, a few players were surprising inclusions into the squads. Also, there were some of the big players who were axed from the squad.
Given their stature and experience, these cricketers were expected to be picked. But considering the recent form, their respective boards and selections committees decided to look for options beyond them. Here are some of those heartbreaking exclusions from the quadrennial tournament.
8 big players who won’t be a part of World Cup 2019:
1. Ambati Rayudu | India
Until the end of 2018, Ambati Rayudu was the front-runner for the number four spot in the Indian line-up. Skipper Virat Kohli informed that they’d certainly play him in the World Cup 2019. Thus, the Hyderabad cricketer decided to quit red-ball cricket to concentrate on ODI format and the World Cup. However, he didn’t seem to be in good touch during the Australia and New Zealand tours.
Moreover, he failed to impress in the IPL as well. Hence, he was ignored for the tournament which is one of the major heartbreaks. Rayudu played 10 ODIs in 2019. He only managed to score 247 runs at an average of 31 and this included a high score of 90. Moreover, he bagged two ducks and his strike rate of 75 wasn’t as impressive either. Many believe that this is the end of Rayudu’s career at the highest level. However, he is named the backup player for the tournament.
2. Taskin Ahmed | Bangladesh
Taskin Ahmed has always been one of the most important members of the Bangladesh set-up. However, the selectors overlooked him and picked Abu Jayed in his place. Jayed is still an uncapped player and him getting an opportunity ahead of Taskin has surprised many. Abu Jayed was impressive in the Test series against New Zealand where he got to swing the new ball a great deal.
Hence, he was the preferred choice for the selectors. But this move left Taskin Ahmed heartbroken. He failed to hide his emotions in the public and broke out after the snub. The pacer has worked really hard on his fitness and was set to play the ODIs in New Zealand. However, an ankle injury a few days ahead of the series ruled him out and that might have affected his chances.
3. Tim Seifert | New Zealand
Tim Seifert was absolutely gutted that he was left out of the World Cup squad. Considering the fact that he was given his ODI debut earlier this year against India, he was expected to be picked up in the squad. However, he was pipped by Tom Blundell who was the preferred choice to be the backup for Tom Latham.
It was cited that Blundell was better in terms of his abilities with the gloves. Though Seifert doesn’t completely agree with the justification and thinks they are close enough in terms of skill. The 24-year-old Kiwi cricketer played 3 ODIs till date and scored 33 runs at an average of 16.50. Blundell, on the other hand, is yet to make his debut in ODI cricket.
4. Josh Hazlewood | Australia
Starting from 2017, Australia had troubled times in ODI cricket. The team wasn’t really able to win games of cricket. But there were some individuals who punched above their weights and performed really well in this duration. Josh Hazlewood was one of those players who gave his everything for the team. In this period, he played 15 ODIs and picked up 27 wickets at an economy rate of 5.
But he’s been on the sidelines since November last year due to an injury. He was one of the shocking omissions from the squad. Jason Behrendorff and Nathan Coulter-Nile were picked ahead of him. Apparently, the selectors and the cricket board wanted the pacer to be fit for the upcoming Ashes which will be played after the World Cup. Hence, they have decided to give him some more time to recover from the back injury.
5. Mohammad Amir | Pakistan
Considering the kind of talent that he possesses, many expected Mohammad Amir would be picked for the World Cup. The pacer did a fair job playing in England in 2017 during the Champions Trophy. He is someone who is usually lethal in such conditions as there is swing on offer for him. But, his form and number saw a decline in the last year.
Since the start of 2018, Amir featured in 14 ODIs for Pakistan. He only managed to pick up 5 wickets and never accounted for more than one wicket in an inning. He averaged 92.60 during this period against his career average which is in the early 30s. His form didn’t convince the selectors and a young Mohammad Hasnain was chosen instead.
However, Amir still has a chance to make amends and perform well in the upcoming England series and make it to the World Cup squad.
6. Dinesh Chandimal | Sri Lanka
Dinesh Chandimal was the captain of Sri Lanka’s one-day international team at one point in time. He was expected to lead the side during the World Cup 2019. Nevertheless, he has failed to impress with his captaincy and the side suffered some of the worst losses under him. Moreover, he didn’t help his cause with the bat either.
The former skipper played in 12 ODI matches since the beginning of last year. He batted in 10 innings and scored 311 runs at an average of 34.55. His strike rate of 74 during this while failed to impress the selectors. Then the opportunity to lead the side was given to Lasith Malinga who also failed. It will be Dimuth Karunaratne who will lead the team during the World Cup.
7. Reeza Hendricks | South Africa
Reeza Hendricks had a terrific MSL 2018 season. Although he wasn’t as consistent at the international level, he’s had his moments and impressed one and all. In his 18-match ODI career, he scored 455 runs at an average of nearly 27. The youngster is just about finding his feet at this level and is getting better with every game that he plays.
While it was expected that he’d be picked, the selectors decided to ignore him. Instead, they went for the experienced Hashim Amla even though he isn’t in the best of forms. While many hoped that Amla would get a nod, they were disappointed that it came at the cost of a talent like Reeza Hendricks.
8. Peter Handscomb | Australia
Peter Handscomb made his ODI debut in 2017. But it was only in recent times that he got his opportunities on a consistent basis. The Victorian cricketer played 13 out of his 21 ODI matches in 2019 itself. He scored 479 runs at an average close to 44 and has struck one hundred, three fifties in these 13 games. Moreover, he scored these runs at a strike rate of 98 and was highly impressive. He also doubles up as a wicket-keeping option in the side.
But him being ignored was one of the most disappointing calls by any team. David Warner and Steve Smith returned to the fold and had to be included in the squad. This came at the cost of an in-form player like Handscomb being left out. Ashton Turner was also sidelined from the World Cup squad.