Harry Brook called up into England squad for pre-World Cup New Zealand internationals

Harry Brook has taken a step closer to World Cup inclusion (PA Wire)

Harry Brook has been called up to the England squad for their final series before the World Cup in October.

England take on New Zealand in four one day internationals as a build up to the main event, which kicks off in India on 5 October in Ahmedebad.

Brook was not originally in the squad for either the World Cup, or the key matches against New Zealand, but has been added as batting cover and will join up with the 17-man squad at Sophia Gardens, ahead of the first match in Cardiff on Friday 8 September.

However, there is still a chance he could find himself on the plane to India, as the deadline for the final 15-man squad submission is not until 28 September, and there have been recent question marks over the form of Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone.

Since coming into the Test side for the injured Jonny Bairstow in September 2022, Brook has impressed at every turn. He was the leading run-scorer on the tour of Pakistan that winter, earned a maiden Indian Premier League contract and cemented his place in the England setup.

There were questions raised initially when Brook was not in the original World Cup squad, and arguably he would have been had it not been for Ben Stokes’ surprise return to fold for the sport’s biggest tournament.

Brook has played just three one-day internationals for England, with a high score of 80 and an average of 28.66, but will be an additional option for white-ball coach Matthew Mott.

England have a one-day series against Ireland after those playing in the World Cup have departed for India and it will be captained by Test opener Zak Crawley.

It will be his first time taking the captaincy for England, and he will be supported by vice-captain and opening partner Ben Duckett.

England’s 13-man squad against Ireland includes three debutants, Sam Hain, Jamie Smith and George Scrimshaw.

With the matches against Ireland taking place at the same time as the conclusion to the County Championship season, the ECB said the counties were consulted in terms of their own ambitions before the squad was finalised.

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