England have axed their senior pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad from the Test squad for the West Indies tour, which is scheduled to begin from March 8 in Antigua. Jos Buttler has also been dropped from the Test squad, while Alex Lees and Matthew Fisher earned their maiden England call-up.
England named a 16-member squad for the three-match Test series against West Indies, starting from March 8 in Antigua. The announced squad has a number of changes from England's Ashes team, but the omission of senior pacer James Anderson and Stuart Broad has opened doors for fuming debates among fans and experts.
England have already dismissed Ashley Giles, Chris Silverwood and Graham Thorpe from their positions after a poor performance in the Ashes 2021-2022, where the Three Lions lost by 4-0. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is continuing their post Ashes clean-up and including Broad and Anderson, several other senior players have been axed from the West Indies tour.
Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan, Sam Billings, Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, and Dom Bess are the other players dropped from the England squad after the embarrassing Ashes defeat. Durham opener Alex Less and Yorkshire pacer Matthew Fisher earned their maiden call-up to the national side.
Anderson and Broad have taken a combined 1,177 wickets in Test cricket for England, and the pacers played a pivotal role in the team's success over the years. In a press release, England's interim managing director, Andrew Strauss stated that it is not the end of Anderson and Broad as England players. Strauss further added that it is important for the team to look at some new bowling potentials for the upcoming matches.
"In respect of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, I want to emphasise this does not mean the end for them as England players," the statement read.
"We feel that it is important to look at some exciting new bowling potential and give some added responsibility to other players who have featured previously. No one doubts the quality and experience that James and Stuart bring to the England set-up. It will be up to the new managing director and permanent head coach to decide on whether they will be involved this summer and beyond.
"This selection of this squad is the start of a process and a journey to get England Test cricket back to where it needs to be, and the hard work starts now," he added.
Paul Collingwood, who was appointed as England's interim head coach is currently on holiday in Barbados, and will join the Test squad at their arrival in West Indies on February 25.
England Squad: Joe Root (C), Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Matthew Fischer, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood