Liam Plunkett played a crucial role in England’s maiden World Cup win back in July. He had a wonderful World Cup final where he picked up three crucial New Zealand wickets at Lord’s in the form of Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, and Jimmy Neesham. Since the 2015 World Cup, Plunkett has picked up 96 ODI wickets on average of 28.01, which is more than any other English seam bowler.
Ashley Giles, who is the director of the English men’s cricket team, spoke to Lord’s media this Friday, praising Plunkett’s contribution to the English cricket team as a “fantastic servant” of the white-ball team. But over the last few years, his pace has soaked and ECB’s looking for options that can replace him as a long-term solution to his spot in the white-ball squad.
The 34-year-old has come out and said, “disappointment is an understatement” after he was surprisingly snubbed off the contract by England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) list of centrally contracted One Day players for the rest of 2019-20 season. The ECB is now focused on building a new balanced unit with some new faces for the T20 World Cup which is to be held in Australia next year. Most importantly, they will look forward to a successful defence of their 50-over World Cup title in India in 2023, and Plunkett will be 38 by that time.
The ECB management is of the opinion that Plunkett is now past his prime, and they are now looking to invest in younger talents as per reports in ESPNcricinfo. The ECB has in mind a number of young lads who can take the place of Plunkett in the English squad. The two likely choices would be Tom Curran, who was a non-playing member of the English World Cup squad, and Lancashire pace bowler Saqib Mahmood, who is expected to be named in England’s T20 squad next week for their five-game New Zealand tour.
“His best came in that role in the World Cup, and the World Cup final,” says Ashley Giles
Plunkett is perhaps one of the most fitting members of the English squad, and Giles appreciated him for maintaining such good fitness. For a few years now, Plunkett had become Eoin Morgan’s go-to bowler, and his performance at the World Cup was brilliant, especially in the finals where he brought momentum to England. Probably the main reason for his snub would be that he did not comply with the requirement for the next year or two.
“His best came in that role in the World Cup, and the World Cup final. He should be really proud of that achievement, and what they did as a team, but everything moves on for all of us,” Giles said.
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