Ben Stokes says England may be the top-ranked ODI team in the world but there is no margin for error if they want to achieve their ultimate goal of winning the Cricket World Cup.

Host nation England are the ICC's number one team as they approach the upcoming tournament, looking to claim the trophy for the very first time.

But Stokes warned that unlike in longer series' where defeats can be rectified, England cannot afford any slip ups.

"All the nations come together over a certain period and whichever team performs best over that time gets to lift the trophy," he told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of Red Bull. "You want to be that team.

"It's not a series, where you can win 3-2. You have to make sure that you're the best team on every day and I think it shows which teams are the best.

"You look at Australia, when they won three in a row [in 1999, 2003 and 2007], they were an unbelievable team. They always won the World Cups because they were the best team.

"I think that's the best thing about it - it puts a big split between the top teams and the lower teams."

After the World Cup, England's Test team will host Australia in the Ashes before head coach Trevor Bayliss departs when his contract expires in September.

And Stokes paid tribute to Bayliss for his work in improving the approach of England's ODI cricket.

"I think he's been brilliant for the one-day team," Stokes said. "He's come in and changed our ethos and thinking towards it.

"He's given us a lot of confidence and he just lets us drive the team forward really with how we want to play.

"Eoin Morgan has also done a great job with that, as our leader and captain, but [Bayliss] has been very, very influential over the last four years."

England begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Oval on May 30.

Joe Root hailed Jofra Archer's "X-factor" after the all-rounder was included in England's squad for the Cricket World Cup.

Archer, who only became eligible for selection in March, was named in the final 15-man squad on Tuesday despite having only played three ODIs for England.

His selection over an established member of the side in David Willey was seen by some as controversial.

However, Root believes Archer has proven his worth with numerous instrumental performances in the Indian Premier League.

"He's obviously got that X-factor," Root told Sky Sports News. "You watch him play in the IPL, you watch the effect he's had on some of those games, high-pressure games and he's performed in that environment and thrived in it.

"He's only played a couple of games for us in international cricket and he's right at the start of his career but he has the ability to change games, he brings something different to our attack, which I think is a real bonus. It's a great, strong addition to the squad."

Asked if Archer could work his way into the Test squad for the Ashes series with Australia later this year, Root added: "He obviously would offer something different to the group of players we've got currently.

"I think it's very important throughout this next period, the selectors in particular watching county cricket, watching how guys go throughout the World Cup, guys within this World Cup squad - not just Jofra but other players as well - have got an opportunity to impress and make sure that they're up for contention when those Ashes squads are selected."

Root is Willey's team-mate at Yorkshire as well as with England and feels the fact a player of his quality has missed out is proof of the depth they have at their disposal.

"It was always going to be bitterly disappointing for whoever missed out," Root said. 

"Everyone's performed extremely well, done everything they can to give a good account of themselves going into the World Cup. For Dave, he's worked extremely hard, he'll be absolutely gutted.

"He's a brilliant team-mate, a great professional. He'll go back to Yorkshire and try to prove to everyone why he's going to play for England for a long time to come in the future.

"It's a very unique situation where you've got so many guys that have performed brilliantly, you look at the squad going into the tournament and there's no question-marks, everyone deserves their place, has performed consistently well going into it, it's a brilliant place to be.

"It is bitterly disappointing and it was always going to be tough on someone but it shows the strength in depth in the group, where we're at as a one-day team at the minute and it shows how well we've prepared.

"We've given ourselves the best chance leading into it, we're still going to have to play extremely well, nothing's going to be given to us, we're going to have to earn every win throughout the whole tournament."

Jofra Archer and Liam Dawson have been included in the England squad for the Cricket World Cup.

Dawson was not in England's preliminary 15-man group but makes the final line-up announced on Tuesday.

Archer was also omitted from the initial squad but the Barbados-born paceman has been named after making a positive impression during England's 4-0 one-day international series defeat of Pakistan.

Joe Denly and David Willey drop out while James Vince replaces opener Alex Hales, who has not been selected due to an "off-field incident".

Dawson's inclusion comes after Denly failed to stake his claim against Pakistan, with the Hampshire off-spinner back in the international fold for the first time since he suffered a side strain during last year's tour of Sri Lanka

The 29-year-old has starred in Hampshire's run to the Royal London One-Day Cup final this year and his county colleague Vince, capped 10 times at one-day international level, adds depth to the batting ranks.

Archer's rapid rise sees the all-rounder included despite only making his international debut this month, with Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran and Ben Stokes the other pace options in the squad.

England are among the pre-tournament favourites due to a batting line-up packed with power, with Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow tipped to be among the stars of the World Cup.

Adil Rashid is included despite selector Ed Smith confirming the Yorkshire leg-spinner is carrying a minor shoulder injury.

 

England's World Cup squad in full:

Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

James Anderson was happy to come through a "good test" for his bruised knee after starring for Lancashire against Worcestershire.

Anderson is not involved in England's World Cup squad but is expected to lead the attack in the Ashes series against Australia later in the year.

However, the seamer gave cause for concern after he was forced off during Lancashire's Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final loss against Hampshire on May 12 when a shot from James Fuller hit him in the knee.

Anderson showed no signs of any lasting damage on Monday, though, taking a five-wicket haul at the start of the County Championship fixture.

Lancashire limited the visitors to just 172 on the opening day of the Division Two clash at Old Trafford, and the 36-year-old was delighted to come through unscathed after starting out with a 12-over spell.

"It was a good test for the bruised knee," Anderson told Lancashire's official website.

"I enjoyed that first partnership with Graham [Onions] (3-52) at the other end. I thought we asked a lot of questions and got the rewards towards the end of the spell.

"But I probably wouldn't want a 12-over spell every time I open the bowling! Today was one of those days where you get into a rhythm and get on a roll and it was right I kept going."

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur is convinced his side can shine at the Cricket World Cup, even though they will head into the tournament on the back of 10 successive ODI losses.

A 54-run defeat at Headingley on Sunday condemned Pakistan to a 4-0 series reverse at the hands of England, the World Cup hosts.

However, Arthur was determined to remain upbeat after seeing his side post scores of 361-7, 358-9, 340-7 and 297, only to be out-gunned by a prolific home batting line-up.

"We sit here having taken a huge amount of positives out of this series," said Arthur. "I thought we batted extremely well. Our bowling has been average at best and our fielding has been average at best but we've batted fairly well.

"The other thing is we've played against a team who are number one in the world in their own conditions. I know there's not too many teams who will arrive in England as prepared as we are in terms of the competition we've played against and match fitness.

"We've got a couple of days now to regroup, two warm-up games and then we'll go. I'm very, very confident with the players we've got. We need to sharpen up on a couple of disciplines but we'll certainly get there. We'll be good."

Asked to outline his expectations for the World Cup, Arthur added: "All I know is that the players are very, very determined to do well. Every time they go out there they play for 210 million people.

"We all take defeat in a disappointing way, as our supporter base do. The players are good. Come the first game against the West Indies [on May 31], we'll be ready. I'm as confident that we'll do well as I've ever been."

Arthur, who confirmed paceman Mohammad Amir is available for World Cup selection after missing the England series through illness, acknowledged Pakistan have to improve significantly in the field.

"It's been very disappointing. I think that's been the massive difference between the two sides," he added.

"That's a real worry for me because we are putting a hell of a lot of effort into it and there's not a massive amount of reward for us there at the moment. We'll just keep knocking away at it though, just to make sure we get it up to speed.

"Fielding is about attitude and wanting to get out there and get it done. Our boys' attitude has been outstanding through this series and for the years before. They know where they are short, they know they've been short in this department and they are not happy about it. They are working damn hard at it."

Chris Woakes acknowledged a nervy Monday lies ahead for England's Cricket World Cup hopefuls as they await confirmation of who has made the final squad for the tournament on home soil.

Woakes appears a certainty to be selected given his consistently impressive performances in one-day internationals, the latest of which saw him return 5-54 at Headingley to help Eoin Morgan's men to a 54-run victory over Pakistan and a 4-0 series triumph.

Yet competition for places, particularly in England's bowling ranks, is fierce and the likes of David Willey, Tom Curran and Joe Denly seem to be among those most at risk of losing out with Jofra Archer anticipated to be picked.

The squad will be announced on Tuesday, with each player likely to discover their fate the day before it is made public.

"Everyone will be looking at their phones tomorrow [Monday], I suppose, if that's when we find out," said Woakes in a news conference following his man-of-the-match display in Leeds. "Everyone will be wary of that phone call.

"Even if you feel like you've got a good chance to be in the squad, until you hear it from the selectors' mouths, it's not quite set in stone.

"As a player you're still probably a little bit on edge, in particular with this 16 and 17 players because everyone has performed at some point over the series [against Pakistan]. 

"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. It has to be done, I suppose."

Woakes, who acknowledged the timing of his impressive display on Sunday was "pretty nice", believes England's strength in depth has raised performance levels.

"It's certainly driven everyone forward to try and improve, to make sure they're on top of their game, to make sure they tick everything off in practice," he added.

"Whenever you get the opportunity to bowl in practice, or bat or field, you constantly feel ... not like you're on audition, but like it's an opportunity to show your skills.

"It's certainly driven everyone to try and improve and it's certainly showed in our performances over the series."

Former Windies skipper Darren Sammy believes the regional team will be crowned ICC World Cup champions but has a particularly interesting reason for coming to that conclusion.

The 12th edition of the tournament will mark 40 years since the West Indies won the tournament in 1979.  However, far from those days and despite a strong showing against the world number one-ranked team England recently, the Caribbean unit, who struggled to make the tournament in the first place, will not be most experts pick to win it all.

Sammy, the former T20 World Cup champion believes different forces could be at play.  Despite the fact that team will be one of the lowest ranked heading into the tournament, Sammy believes the number 40 could hold a charm for the team, based on its religious and symbolic significance.

 The tournament will also be the last for the arguably the region’s biggest star, Chris Gayle, who is expected to retire following the tournament and the motivation could be high to give him a proper send off.

“West Indies will win the World Cup. With Chris Gayle retiring, the ‘Universe Boss’ will want to leave with a bang. I just have a strong feeling. It’s been 40 years since we last won the World Cup. I’m a biblical man and the number 40 comes up a lot in the bible… I think it’s our time to rise up,” Sammy was quoted as saying by metro.co.uk.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed delivered mixed news on the injury front and acknowledged his side need to improve their fielding after they were beaten by three wickets at Trent Bridge to lose their ODI series against England.

Having lost with respective totals of 361 and 358 at Southampton and Bristol respectively, Pakistan failed to defend a score of 340-7 on Friday, despite a significant wobble from their hosts in reply.

Ben Stokes' unbeaten 71 proved crucial for England after Jason Roy, who was dropped twice, scored 114 amid some lacklustre work in the field.

In the post-match presentation, Sarfraz lamented Pakistan's mistakes and provided updates on the fitness of Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Amir.

"If we were fielding well and took catches, we had enough runs on the board," said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

"We've been working very hard for the last one and a half years and it was very improved, but the way we've fielded here in three matches is not up to the mark. We have to improve."

Imam was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the elbow by a delivery from Mark Wood, but the opener was cleared of a fracture following X-rays and returned late in Pakistan's innings.

Paceman Amir, meanwhile, has yet to feature in the series due to illness and it is unclear when he will be able to return, with Pakistan's Cricket World Cup opener just a fortnight away.

"Imam hopefully will be ok," said Sarfraz. "He's got a bruise on his elbow so hopefully he will come back, but I'm not sure about Amir."

Roy revealed his impressive innings had come as something of a surprise after he spent the night in hospital with his daughter.

He told the BBC's Test Match Special: "I'm not in the form of my life. It was not my most fluent of innings but it was an extremely special feeling to get over three figures. I didn't see it coming.

"I had a bit of a rough morning so this one is a special one for me and my family.

"It was my little one. We had to take her to hospital at 1:30 in the morning. I stayed there until 8:30 and came back for a couple of hours sleep and got to the ground just before the warm-up and cracked on. It was a very emotional hundred."

Ben Stokes and Tom Curran rode to England's rescue as they overcame a major wobble with the bat to beat Pakistan by three wickets at Trent Bridge and open up an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series.

The much-changed hosts - led by Jos Buttler with Eoin Morgan suspended - were initially cruising in pursuit of 341, reaching 201-1 inside 28 overs on the back of Jason Roy's 89-ball 114.

Roy's dismissal at the hands of Mohammad Hasnain triggered an alarming and unexpected collapse that saw England lose four wickets for 15 runs in 17 deliveries.

The required run-rate rose above nine per over thereafter but Stokes (71 not out) shared a crucial seventh-wicket partnership of 61 with Curran, who followed up figures of 4-75 with 31 runs, before sealing victory in the company of Adil Rashid with three balls unused as Pakistan were left to rue a series of sloppy errors in the field.

For the third match in succession, a Pakistan century proved in vain, Babar Azam striking 115 from 112 balls in a losing cause.

Pakistan's total of 340-7 represented their lowest score of the series so far and looked short of par at a venue synonymous with high-scoring feats in recent years, most notably when England registered a world-record tally of 481-6 against Australia last June.

The tourists were dealt a blow early in their innings when Imam-ul-Haq was struck on his left elbow by a Mark Wood short ball and forced to retire hurt. Happily, X-rays showed the opener had avoided a fracture and he returned at the end of his side's innings to finish six not out.

Babar, brought to the crease in the fourth over due to Imam's injury, produced some typically thrilling strokes as he shared in century stands with Fakhar Zaman (57) and the recalled Mohammad Hafeez, who made a somewhat streaky 59.

However, none of that trio were able to accelerate effectively and Shoaib Malik's 26-ball 41 appeared too little, too late as England kept their opponents in check.

Roy rode his luck in reply and would have been run out for seven had Babar managed a direct hit. The opener also offered chances on 25 and 33 and made Pakistan pay for their missed opportunities, kicking on superbly after James Vince had been bowled by Hasnain for 43.

A stunning six over cover off Hafeez brought up Roy's hundred, before he, Joe Root (36), Buttler (0) and Moeen Ali (0) all departed in quick succession to breathe fresh life into the contest.

Junaid Khan then pulled off a superb catch off his own bowling to account for Joe Denly (17), but Pakistan's fielding was hugely unimpressive on the whole and they seemingly failed to appeal when Curran may have been run out for seven.

With Pakistan looking increasingly ragged, England gradually regained control and Stokes fittingly hit the winning run to round off an encouraging individual display ahead of the Cricket World Cup on home soil.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek will have surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon, Chelsea have confirmed.

The England midfielder suffered the injury during the Blues' 3-0 friendly win over New England Revolution in Boston on Wednesday.

Loftus-Cheek has hit a rich vein of form over recent weeks but will miss the Europa League final against Arsenal in Baku at the end of this month as he begins a long road to recovery.

England manager Gareth Southgate had already left 23-year-old out of his squad for the Nations League Finals earlier on Thursday.

"I went to bed last night and Ruben is in the squad and playing brilliantly and now it is a huge disappointment for him. He misses now a major European final and a brilliant opportunity with us," Southgate told reporters.

"In particular he has really come on in the last few months and looked strong and playing with a lot of confidence and I am really disappointed for him in particular."

Loftus-Cheek scored 10 times across 40 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this season.

His team-mate for club and country, Callum Hudson-Odoi was struck down by a similar injury during last month's 2-2 Premier League draw against Burnley.

Gareth Southgate is disappointed Ruben Loftus-Cheek cannot play for England in the Nations League Finals.

Loftus-Cheek has had a breakthrough season but faces a long spell on the sidelines after reportedly rupturing his Achilles during a friendly in the United States.

Despite being set to face Arsenal in the Europa League final, Chelsea headed to Massachusetts to take on New England Revolution this week and Loftus-Cheek will subsequently miss England's first shot at international glory since winning the World Cup in 1966.

Southgate confirmed the midfielder, along with Chelsea team-mate Callum Hudson-Odoi, would have been in the squad - which he will finalise on May 27 - had he been fit.

"We will find out more about a couple of players in that period and then I am going to have to make a couple of decisions," Southgate told reporters. 

"But we can change if we have injuries after that date. Frankly there is every chance that is going to happen.

"We have just got to make the best possible decisions really with the information that we have. It is constantly moving.

"I went to bed last night and Ruben is in the squad and playing brilliantly and now it is a huge disappointment for him. He misses now a major European final and a brilliant opportunity with us.

"In particular he has really come on in the last few months and looked strong and playing with a lot of confidence and I am really disappointed for him in particular."

While Loftus-Cheek missed out, Harry Kane is in the squad despite having been out of action for six weeks with an ankle injury.

Kane is stepping up his rehabilitation in the hope of being fit to play for Tottenham against Liverpool in the Champions League final on June 1.

The striker is one of nine Liverpool and Tottenham players included in Southgate's initial 27-man selection who could be involved in Madrid.

"That's one of the unknowns," Southgate said of captain Kane, who won the Golden Boot at the World Cup.

"He's working to be fit for the [Champions League] final. We are keeping that door open. We are going to look post-Champions League final.

"There is the physical aspect and emotional aspect of that final that we have to look at.

"I don't think we have had a time where we haven't had a lot of pull-outs but we have a really strong squad. We will know more by that date [May 27] but we can make changes after that date."

England face Netherlands in the Nations League semi-final in Guimaraes on June 6, just five days after the Champions League final, with Switzerland taking on Portugal in the other last-four clash.

England captain Harry Kane has been included in Gareth Southgate's squad for the Nations League Finals but Ruben Loftus-Cheek misses out due to injury.

Loftus-Cheek hurt his ankle playing for Chelsea in a friendly against New England Revolution in Boston and reportedly faces a long spell on the sidelines, ruling him out of the Europa League final against Arsenal.

Kane, though, has been deemed fit enough to be in the squad despite having been out of action for six weeks with his own ankle injury.

The Tottenham striker is aiming to be fit to lead the line for Mauricio Pochettino's side in the Champions League final against Liverpool on June1.

World Cup Golden Boot winner Kane is one of nine Spurs and Liverpool players included in Southgate's squad, with England playing Netherlands in the Nations League semi-final five days after the Madrid showpiece.

Like Kane, Spurs team-mates Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Winks, as well as Reds trio Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold all face a quick turnaround to join the Three Lions in Portugal.

Dan Migala was walking around the MCG during the innings break of Australia's first one-day international against England in 2011 when he noticed the ice-cream stand was closing.

There was a long line of male thirtysomethings queuing for the bar, but the ice-cream stand - which Migala had earlier realised was doing no trade either – was failing to draw in the crowd.

"We're closing it, there's no kids here," he was told by a concession worker.

It was the day before Migala, a US sports marketing expert who works with the MLB, was due to attend a meeting about Cricket Australia's revamped Big Bash League.

"We actually used [the ice-cream stand closing] at the presentation instead of the data - this is the reason why we need the league, to get kids interested in cricket again," he explained to Omnisport.

"I think that was a really interesting moment for groups of people maybe on the fence. The traditionalists get that; they get the feeling that it's the ice-cream stand now and maybe it's the stadium later."

The inaugural BBL, which saw city-based franchises replace states, began later that year and Migala - a man who confesses to having not known "a cricket ball from a hockey stick" when he first arrived in Australia – was instrumental in selecting the team names, the marketing strategy and the on-field gimmicks.

There were critics and sceptics but the BBL grew into a huge success, a record crowd of 80,883 attending the Melbourne derby between the Stars and Renegades in January 2016.

"I remember there were a lot of articles calling the BBL 'The Mickey Mouse of Cricket'," Migala recalled.

"We just chose to keep our head down, focused on kids and mums and then one night all of a sudden 80,000 people show up at the MCG and everything changed."

It is a story that will provide comfort for the brains behind The Hundred – the ECB's new, and controversial 100-ball competition, which will feature teams from cities rather than counties.

On Monday the ECB unveiled more details of The Hundred and revealed research that showed just five per cent of British children put cricket in their top two favourite sports, with the governing body keen to attract women and youngsters to games as the BBL has.

However, in a further faux pas in a difficult campaign so far, The Hundred's website initially launched with a promotional image from a US rapper's concert that was also the top Google result for searches of 'male audience'. That image has now been removed.

Speaking before Monday's launch, Migala admitted he sees similarities with the scepticism the BBL faced early on.

"Talking to [ECB chief executive] Tom Harrison, I just see the same parallels, even some of the apprehension from some people," he said.

"Sometimes we've even forgotten there was a lot of that for us early on. There's an element of people don't like change but we're evolving and I think those were messages that really resonated in the infancy of the BBL.

"At the same time a lot of those people who were apprehensive in year two were the ones that were buying me a pint after a match too."

Migala, a self-confessed baseball traditionalist, believes the ECB targeting women and children is "a brilliant move" and noted how his own son does not have the attention span for an MLB game but will watch BBL matches.

"Your competition now is more a movie theatre or a day at the park versus other sporting events that they might go to," he added.

"Maybe some of the traditionalists or cricket-operations people, they just assume people show up because they love the game so much - what else do you need to do other than just turn the lights on and put a game on?

"It doesn't work like that, it's too competitive a market now. You're even competing with just staying at home and watching Netflix.

"A lot of those people who were very sceptical [about the BBL], maybe early on, when it was in the womb, it took a little while for them to realise that more people are watching cricket live in Australia than any time before.

"Younger generations are asking to go and that's a positive thing. We're putting bats in kids' hands and if it just goes through a different pathway then that's okay and that's a good thing. [The traditionalists] really came around."

England captain Eoin Morgan has been suspended for the fourth one-day international against Pakistan due to a slow over-rate during Tuesday's victory in Bristol.

The skipper become England's most-capped ODI player in a six-wicket win that gave his side a 2-0 series lead with two matches to play, but he will not feature at Trent Bridge on Friday.

Morgan, who surpassed Paul Collingwood by making a 198th ODI appearance for England at the County Ground, was also fined 40 per cent of his match fee after the hosts were two overs short of bowling 50 in the allotted time.

The batsman had also been found guilty of a minor over-rate offence during an ODI against West Indies in Barbados on February 22.

Morgan's team-mates were docked 20 per cent of their match fees.

Jonny Bairstow has also been reprimanded for his reaction to being dismissed for a magnificent 128.

The wicketkeeper-batsman clattered his bat into the stumps after playing on to a delivery from Junaid Khan and has been given one demerit point by the ICC.

Legendary West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose has picked the team to make a deep run at the ICC World Cup, which gets under way in England later this month.

The regional team won the first edition of the tournament in 1975 and 1979 and were only narrowly beaten by India in the following edition.  Since then it has been a major barren stretch of sorts having failed to advance to the semi-final stage in seven of the next eight tournaments.  The only exception came in 1996 when the team did manage to make the final four before being narrowly beaten by Australia.  Ambrose, who was a part of that squad, believes the current iteration could at the very least equal that feat.

“Our chances are as good as anybody’s because when you look at cricket in general and like I’ve said to the guys when I was with the team [as a coach], ICC ratings or rankings don’t really count on the field,” Ambrose told the Antigua Observer.

 “In the rankings, you could be one, two or three but it simply means you’re more consistent and you’re winning more games so you get the points to move to the top of the table but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the better team,” he added.

“We have a decent team but of course, people are going to argue about one or two players which will happen from now until eternity, but I feel we have a good enough team to go deeper into the World Cup.

Our problem is the consistency factor where we would win one game handsomely then maybe lose two or three and then win another one and if you’re so inconsistent then you’re never going to go far. As long as we are consistent in this World Cup, we can spring some surprises and go deep but we have to be consistent,” he said.

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