It was a very difficult decision, says Ed Smith on dropping David Willey from World Cup squad

Willey had scalped four wickets in three matches against Pakistan recently.

David Willey
David Willey. (Photo Source: Twitter)

England announced their final 15-man World Cup squad on Tuesday and included Jofra Archer as expected. But for that to happen, the left-arm seamer David Willey had to make way which has raised many eyebrows. Willey was the one who had openly criticised the move of bringing Archer into the plans in a hurry. He will be the one missing out on a mega event in home conditions now which is clearly unfortunate.

The chief selector Ed Smith also cited the same word ‘unfortunate’ when asked about Willey missing out on a World Cup berth. England also handed a surprise call-up for Liam Dawson ahead of Joe Denly who was earlier part of the provisional squad. Apart from that James Vince also replaced Alex Hales whose name was withdrawn by the board following the cricketer failing the drugs test for the second time in his career.


“David Willey has been a very big part of the one-day side that has had such a good run and it was a really tough call but someone had to miss out. It was a very difficult decision. I think the situation we were in as a selection panel and in conversation with the captain we had more players we wanted to pick then we were allowed to,” Smith was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

There are more deserving players

David Willey was easily one of England’s top and consistent players after he made his ODI debut in 2015 after the World Cup. In 46 matches the 29-year-old featured in, he picked 52 wickets conceding runs at an economy of 5.75 and a strike-rate of 37.9. Considering the flat pitches in England during this period, these numbers are certainly decent.

Ed Smith admitted to the fact that David Willey deserved to be in the squad but also felt that there better players than him and they had to be considered. “David could easily have been in this World Cup squad, he deserves to be but that’s sport sometimes there are more deserving players than there are places in the squad.

“I spoke to David, he is an outstanding man, very honest, dignified and clear in the conversation we had. He is a very impressive man and cricketer and he is extremely unfortunate to miss out,” Smith further said. David Willey must be definitely disappointed after the World Cup snub and it remains to be seen if he comments anything on his non-selection in public.