England selected a 13-man squad for their upcoming three-match ODI series against Ireland yesterday.

It consists solely of players not selected in England’s provisional World Cup squad – though squads can be changed up until September 28, two days after the culmination of England series against Ireland.

The other complication is that the Ireland series is a direct clash with the final two rounds of the County Championship. In a statement accompanying the squad announcement, the ECB said: “The England Men’s selection panel consulted with the first-class counties, and weighed their ambitions in the run-in to the end of the LV= Insurance County Championship season, before finalising the squad.”

England squad for Ireland ODIs

Zak Crawley (c), Ben Duckett (vc), Rehan Ahmed, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Sam Hain, Will Jacks, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Phil Salt, George Scrimshaw, Jamie Smith, Luke Wood.

Here are four takeaways from the England squad announcement:

Zak Crawley, future England captain?

Crawley has long been touted as a white-ball player of considerable promise but largely due to commitments with the Test squad he has found his chances in limited overs cricket restricted at domestic, franchise and international level. After impressing at the top of the order in the Covid-affected series against Pakistan two years ago, Crawley now has another chance to press forward his white-ball case.

The three opening options in England’s provisional 2023 World Cup squad are all unlikely to make the 2027 tournament – there are gaps in the England top order that will need filling sooner or later.

And is ‘Zak Crawley England captain’ a string of words we get more used to in the years to come? There is no obvious successor to Ben Stokes in the Test set-up, nor is there an obvious long-term successor to Jos Buttler in the limited-overs teams. In this lowkey, end-of-term affair, Crawley will have two major opportunities to make what has already been a very good summer for him on a personal level even better.

The Harry Brook question rumbles on

Brook’s last chance to force his way into the World Cup squad, which needs to be finalised by September 28, two days after the final Ireland ODI. Brook was a last-minute addition to the squad for the New Zealand ODIs, and those games will be vital in assessing the form of several members of the current provisional squad.

England have wobbled on the Brook question; they were initially adamant that there would be no chances to the original 15-man squad, only for head coach Matthew Mott to clarify that the provisional squad was nothing more than that, provisional.

Whom did the County Championship clash affect?

The Ireland series coincides with the last two rounds of the County Championship, with the Division One title and relegation spots and the second Division Two promotion place all to play for. Essex are in hot pursuit of Surrey at the top of the Division One table, and it’s possible that the likes of Dan Lawrence, Sam Cook and maybe even Matt Critchley were withdrawn from consideration.

Sam Billings, who captains relegation-threatened Kent, is potentially another whose County Championship commitments took priority. Top-of-the-table Surrey have mitigated the loss of Jamie Smith the with overseas signing of Sai Sudharsan.

[breakout id=”0″][/breakout]

England show off formidable bench strength

In theory, this is a squad of players who will not go to India for the World Cup. Given that context it is an extremely strong squad.

Brook is one of the most exciting batters in the world, Crawley and Duckett are fresh off the back of good Ashes campaigns, Jacks is one of the most sought-after franchise players in the world, and there few more exciting cricketers on the planet than 19-year-old Rehan.

In Carse, Wood and newbie Scrimshaw, there are three quicks capable of touching 90mph and that’s before you get to Potts and Overton, two bowlers with decent England records.

The identity of the two uncapped batters – Smith and Hain – is perhaps most revealing: both are high-class players who, in any previous era, would surely have been capped in one format or another by now.