Wed, 27 Sep 2023

Leeds [UK], September 19 (ANI): England batter Zak Crawley admitted that he was shocked to be named as England's ODI side captain for the series against Ireland, but added that it would be a great opportunity for him.

England will start their final assignment ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup defence in India as they lock horns with Ireland for a three-match series starting from Wednesday. Crawley has been named as the captain of a squad that features a lot of young, new names. Crawley gets this opportunity after a blockbuster Ashes campaign, which saw him contribute 480 runs in five matches at an average of 53.33 with one century and two fifties in England's comeback 2-2 draw against Australia.

Though Crawley has played 31 Tests for England, he has just played only three ODIs for his side, which came in the 2021 season during the COVID-19 pandemic. He scored 97 runs in three matches, including a fifty.

On the eve of his first outing as a skipper at Headingley, the 25-year-old said as quoted by Sky Sports: "Yeah, I was shocked. I was just hoping to get into the team and play more for England, but they told me I was captain and it is a great opportunity for me.""It was Motty [head coach Matthew Mott] who gave me the call to say I would be in the squad and captaining. It was as simple as that. He was doing the rounds phoning everyone else, so it was a pretty brief phone call but a pretty good call," he added.

Crawley will be leading an inexperienced squad which includes four uncapped players and seven more with six or less caps. Joe Root's presence as an experienced player will help the team. Root was not due to feature but he asked to play to find some form after struggling for runs against New Zealand.

"Obviously having Joe in the team makes it stronger, no matter what team you are in. It's great having him," said Crawley.

"Especially so for me as captain because I can lean on him for that kind of stuff. It is awesome and hopefully, he gets what he wants from it," he concluded.

England squad vs Ireland: Zak Crawley (c), Ben Duckett (vc), Rehan Ahmed, Joe Root (first ODI only), Brydon Carse, Sam Hain, Will Jacks, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Phil Salt, George Scrimshaw, Jamie Smith, Luke Wood. (ANI)

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