England call up Tymal Mills for T20 World Cup after four years out as Ben Stokes absence is confirmed

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Tymal Mills  in T20 action for England against Sri Lanka in 2016 (Getty Images)
Tymal Mills in T20 action for England against Sri Lanka in 2016 (Getty Images)

England have turned to the “exceptional pace” of Tymal Mills for the first time in four years to fill part of the void left by the injured Jofra Archer in their 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup in the UAE next month.

As expected, Ben Stokes remains “unavailable for selection” as he takes time away from the game to manage a finger injury and his mental health. Nevertheless, coach and selector Chris Silverwood said he believed he had selected a squad that “covers all bases”.

Sussex quick Mills is one of three left-armers in the squad, alongside Sam Curran and David Willey, who was omitted from the 2019 World Cup squad at the last minute to accommodate Archer. With Archer out until next year with an elbow injury, England have stacked their seam bowling, with the experienced Chris Woakes selected as well as Mills.

Mills, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, was the one player captain Eoin Morgan tipped to break in from outside the squad if he had a strong summer in the domestic white-ball competitions.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

He has duly delivered as part of the Sussex side that has reached Vitality Blast Finals Day next weekend, and the Southern Brave team that won the Hundred. In that tournament, he combined with Chris Jordan, a mainstay for England in T20, in a brilliant partnership at the death.

“Tymal Mills deserves his inclusion and has demonstrated over the past couple of years, but particularly this summer, that he has all skills to succeed at this level,” said Silverwood.

“His exceptional pace is a standout, and the way he has spearheaded Sussex and Southern Brave’s respective attacks in the short-form game has shown that he relishes the pressures of the big stage. He will add variety to our bowling unit and we can’t wait to see him play in a major international tournament.”

Tom Curran misses out for Mills and Woakes, although he is one of three travelling reserves, alongside James Vince and Liam Dawson.

Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson are not included, but they are likely to be part of England’s expanded Ashes party this winter.

Stokes’s absence is a blow, but the emergence of Liam Livingstone, who offers a third spin option alongside Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, means England’s batting retains an imposing look.

England’s tournament begins against West Indies, who beat them in the final in 2016, on October 23. The final is on November 14. England are able to change their squad until October 10.

Squad: Eoin Morgan (cap), Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Craig Livingstone, Sam Billings, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood, Tymal Mills. Reserves: James Vince, Liam Dawson, Tom Curran.

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