Former England World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan has explained why he agrees with the omission of Harry Brook from England’s World Cup squad.

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England’s squad for the 2023 World Cup, which was announced on August 16, has been a topic of discussion ever since, primarily because of the absence of one name from it – Harry Brook.

Ben Stokes’ retirement reversal meant that England had one fewer spot for a middle-order batter in the 15-strong group, leaving no space for Brook, who is the least experienced in ODI cricket among the available options. However, he is also one of the most gifted young batters in world cricket, and England’s decision to leave him out has sparked much debate.

Morgan, the only England captain to win a men’s ODI World Cup, tried to make sense of Brook’s omission, explaining how even exceptional players like Brook often have to miss out in teams that are as successful as England have been.

During the Hundred broadcast with Sky Sports Cricket, Morgan said, “In really good teams that have a lot of talent, but mainly a lot of success, there are really good players that miss out.”

While Stokes’ recall was part of the reason for Brook’s absence, there had also been focus on David Willey, a left-arm seamer who is not in England’s first-choice XI, and Dawid Malan, who offers more flexibility but is currently out of form, and was dropped by Trent Rockets during The Hundred. Morgan explained the balance of the squad that has been selected and said fitting Brook in just for the sake it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the team. “When I look at the squad that has been selected, I can’t get Harry Brook into that squad,” Morgan said. “Simply because the return of Ben Stokes adds another middle-order player. Without him bowling, you do need a top-order player as a genuine replacement if somebody in the top order goes down.

“You need two seamers and an extra spinner which they have cover for but an extra batter in amongst that, I just can’t fit Harry Brook in, which is amazing to say.”

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Morgan dived deeper into the dressing room dynamics of building trust amongst players: “I will emphasize this again. In really, really successful sides, you have brilliant players that sometimes miss out. And that’s okay.

“That’s for the benefit of the changing room and the understanding that there is a huge element of trust that is built with players in that changing room, in committing to the collective goal, and there’s no compromise with that. And I don’t get the feeling that Matthew Mott and Jos Buttler will ever compromise that.”

Jos Buttler, the current England white-ball captain, recently said that the door is not closed on Brook and that there’s still a chance that he might get into England’s World Cup squad, with the group only a provisional one at this stage. Morgan echoed the same sentiments.

“There’s just an array of talent around at the moment and Harry Brook is one of those players that could be an extra option. I think he will go as a reserve player, outside of the 15. Still a lot of cricket to be played between now and the start of the World Cup.

“The World Cup goes for six weeks. There will be an injury at some stage throughout that tournament. And Harry Brook will be a luxury to have him as a backup player coming into the squad.”

English cricket is split between those who understand Brook’s axing, and those who feel he should have been selected.

“A lot of fans out there will say, ‘You know what, you’ve got to get him in the team, get him in the team!'” said Morgan. “But actually, what is the ultimate goal for the team? It is winning the World Cup. And being in a position to win the World Cup, you have to have a balanced squad.

“You can’t just pick players in all the same positions because they are good players. You have to have all areas covered. Because if you don’t, on the big stage you get exposed. And I think the balance of the squad they have selected is actually a really good one.”