YORKSHIRE’S Joe Root has won his argument and will continue to play for England in the Twenty20 series in the West Indies after Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were rested.
Consideration was given to sending England Test captain Root back home early but he has grown frustrated after missing too many T20 assignments in the past and was eager to stay on to help build his skills.
In the future, it’s possible, and I’ve said this to Joe, that there might be a time where we say ‘we’re doing it’.Ed Smith
“It was discussed, but, ultimately, he was really keen to play,” explained national selector Ed Smith.
“In the future, it’s possible, and I’ve said this to Joe, that there might be a time where we say ‘we’re doing it’. The decision is not taken lightly. But we looked at it and where he’s at we felt it was fine.”
Stokes and Buttler have been stood down from next month’s trio of T20s at the request of head coach Trevor Bayliss and Dawid Malan, Sam Billings and Chris Jordan have been called up.
Both Stokes and Buttler are expected to play key roles in the World Cup and Ashes double-header this summer as well as heading to the Indian Premier League where they will be teaming up at Rajasthan Royals.
They will depart the Caribbean after the fifth one-day international along with opener Jason Roy, who has been given leave to return for the birth of his first child.
Their absence makes room for batsmen Malan and Billings, as well as the Barbados-born short-form regular Jordan.
National selector Ed Smith insisted he was not allowing domestic tournaments to take precedence over England duty in allowing Stokes and Buttler time away before the IPL.
“That’s not the case. I have not favoured franchise cricket over internationals,” he said.
“The strong recommendation of the head coach was that he would like to rest these two players and I said ‘that’s fine by me’.
“There’s an incredible period of cricket coming up... I would view it as an unusual set of circumstances and as us responding to them in the best possible interests of English cricket.”
England T20 squad to face the West Indies: E Morgan (capt), M Ali, J Bairstow, S Billings, T Curran, J Denly, A Hales, C Jordan, D Malan, L Plunkett, A Rashid, J Root, D Willey, M Wood.