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England star Woakes glad World Cup picks not his problem

Fast-bowler settled what little doubt there was around his place with a five-wicket haul against Pakistan

PHOTO: AFP

Pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes said England's players faced a nervous wait as the countdown to the announcement of the World Cup squad entered its final phase.

Tournament hosts England unveil their squad for the one-day international showpiece on Tuesday.

England have yet to win a men's World Cup but they head into this year's edition as the number-one ranked side in ODI cricket.

Woakes settled what little doubt there was around his place with a five-wicket haul as England beat Pakistan by 54 runs at Headingley on Sunday to complete a 4-nil series win.

Pacer David Willey, despite the variety he offers as a left-arm quick, has seen his place threatened by the emergence of newly-qualified Barbados-born fast bowler Jofra Archer.

Back-up spinner and reserve batsman Joe Denly, could also be cut from the 17-man squad deployed against Pakistan in England's final 15 for the World Cup, especially with Liam Dawson waiting in the wings as an alternative slow-bowling option.

“Everyone will be looking at their phones,” said Woakes. “Everyone will be wary of that phone call. Even if you feel like you've got a good chance to being in the squad, until you hear it from selectors' mouths, it's not quite set in stone."

The fast-bowler believed the selection decision would be tricky because every player has performed well.

“As a player you're still probably a little bit on edge, particularly with this 16 and 17 players because everyone has performed at some point over the series,” said Woakes. “In the last couple of years people have put in strong performances. It's a tricky decision for selectors and I'm glad I'm not having to make that decision, but it has to be done I suppose. It's certainly driven us forward in this series."

Meanwhile, England one-day captain Eoin Morgan, who made 76 in a total of 351 for nine on Sunday, insisted he had yet to be told who was in the World Cup squad by selection chief Ed Smith.

“No, I don't know the 15,” said Morgan. “Every one of these guys should be proud of what we've achieved so far, the continuous improvement of performances throughout makes the selection meeting extremely difficult. But every single member of the 17-man squad here will play some role (at the World Cup), due to the nature of injuries and illness and call-ups.”