LONDON – England have named an unchanged 16-man squad for the three-Test series in the West Indies starting next month, with highly regarded Barbadian fast bowler Jofra Archer not considered for selection.
Joe Root’s team beat Sri Lanka 3-0 last month, with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes and opener Rory Burns making their debuts.
Speculation surrounded whether the 23-year-old Archer would be selected for the one-day side at least, after the England and Wales Cricket Board changed their eligibility criteria earlier this month.
Sussex said the 23-year-old, who was signed for £800,000 in the Indian Premier League auction last January, is likely to qualify “at some point in March 2019.”
England’s tour of the Caribbean runs from January 23 to March 10, and comprises three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals.
After the West Indies tour there are only six England one-day internationals – one in Ireland and five against Pakistan – before the World Cup begins in May.
“At the moment Jofra Archer is not available for selection for the England squad so he wasn’t considered, so he’s not selected, so that’s it,” England national selector Ed Smith said.
“If he becomes available, as it looks like he will do, in the reasonably near future, we think potentially in the early spring, then at that point we will start to consider the best squad with Jofra Archer available. Until that moment I wouldn’t speculate about that at all.”
Meanwhile, David Willey returns for the five-match one-day series starting in February, with Sam Curran, Liam Dawson and Olly Stone left out.
The squad for the three-match T20 series that completes the tour of the Caribbean in March will be named later.
Warwickshire seamer Stone, who made his ODI debut in Sri Lanka and took one wicket in three innings, remains in the Test squad with the younger of the Curran brothers, Sam, who has scored 404 runs and taken 14 wickets in his first seven matches.
Surrey left-hander Burns, 28, made a steady start to his Test career with 155 runs in six innings and a top score of 59.
Foakes, 25, impressed after being called in to cover for Jonny Bairstow, with a century and a fifty, plus eight catches and two stumpings.
Surrey batsman Ollie Pope was part of the original squad in Sri Lanka but left the tour ahead of the second Test to play for the Lions and is not included.
England have won only one Test series in the West Indies since 1968, when Michael Vaughan’s team sealed a 3-0 win in 2004.
The most recent tour in 2015 saw the Windies win the final match by five wickets to draw the series at 1-1.
SQUADS: TEST — Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Jack Leach (Somerset), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
ODI — Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) (captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Tom Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)