Kevin Pietersen has said he is “flabbergasted that England could find no room for Harry Brook in their provisional 2023 Cricket World Cup squad.
England announced their 15-man provisional squad this week, with Brook’s exclusion the biggest talking point. Ben Stokes reversed his ODI retirement ahead of the competition, with Dawid Malan also picked ahead of Brook. England opted for a squad with David Willey as the extra seamer, given a likely need for rotation in the event.
Brook has played just three ODIs, making one half-century, but is rated as one of the most exciting young batters in the world. He averages north of 60 in Test cricket so far, and fetched a record pay packet in the 2023 IPL auction. While he struggled at times during that competition, a century against Kolkata Knight Riders was a marker of his talent.
Pietersen, speaking during Sky Sports’ coverage of The Hundred, couldn’t believe that Brook had been left out.
“I saw this guy in Headingley about two years ago when this tournament took off, and I immediately saw a superstar,” he said. “I saw somebody who was playing 360, who started to hit balls over extra cover, and the same ball hit them over midwicket. I’m absolutely flabbergasted that he cannot make England’s World Cup squad, flabbergasted, because he is pure quality. I suppose that’s not sitting on a fence, that’s giving an opinion. I am absolutely flabbergasted that he cannot make England’s World Cup squad.”
Pietersen is not the only one to be taken aback by England’s decision. Jofra Archer, not selected in the squad as he continues his recovery from injury, learned of the move live on air and said that he was “stunned”. Brook, like Archer, is set to be named as one of England’s three travelling reserves for the competition.