Dwayne Bravo © Getty Images
Dwayne Bravo’s omission from the West Indies squad is the most controversial one © Getty Images

All 14 squads of the ICC World Cup 2015 have been announced; while most of the players selected are well deserving of their spots, there were a few surprising omissions as well. Shiamak Unwalla looks at the top 10 surprising exclusions.

Ben Stokes, England: Stokes ought to have walked into the One-Day International (ODI) side against Sri Lanka late in 2014 given the form he has been in for Durham. But he did not get to prove himself one final time as the selectors chose to go in with Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan instead.

Ryan McLaren, South Africa: McLaren seemed to be groomed for the all-rounder’s role in the shorter formats following Jacques Kallis’ retirement. While McLaren’s batting leaves a lot to be desired, he has a decent bowling record in ODIs and would consider himself very unlucky to miss out.

Ajantha Mendis, Sri Lanka: Perhaps one of the biggest shocks came in the form of Mendis’ exclusion from the Lankan squad. Mendis enjoyed a terrific 2014, picking up 38 wickets in only 17 matches at an excellent average and strike rate. It came as a huge shock to the cricket fraternity.

Shaminda Eranga, Sri Lanka: Another surprise exclusion, Eranga remains a regular in Sri Lanka’s Test line-up, but failed to hold on to a spot in the ODIs. In 16 ODIs he has taken 18 wickets at a middling average and strike rate.

Upul Tharanga, Sri Lanka: The left-handed opener was one of Sri Lanka’s leading run-scorers in the ICC World Cup 2011, but had a poor year in 2014. However, given his overall record one would feel that he would have been a reliable person to have for the Lankans, especially under trying circumstances.

Jimmy Neesham, New Zealand: Neesham has an admirable Test record, but is yet to establish himself in ODIs. That being said, he would feel hard-done at being dropped. His impressive List A record shows that he would be a valuable player to have in the squad, especially given that Grant Elliot made the cut.

Matt Henry, New Zealand: Henry has had a phenomenal record in his short career so far. From a mere six ODIs, Henry has captured 19 wickets at a mind-boggling average and strike rate. On the basis of his figures, he ought to sail into any side in the world at the moment. New Zealand certainly seem to have missed a trick by not selecting him.

Ravi Rampaul, West Indies: Rampaul has a good record in ODIs, and is one of the most experienced bowlers in the West Indies. His consistency and pace would have been a huge help Down Under.

Dwayne Bravo, West Indies: Bravo’s case is unique. Probably one of the best limited-overs players in the West Indies, Bravo’s clash with the WICB made them make an example out of him. There is absolutely no conceivable reason for Bravo missing a ticket to the World Cup squad.

Kieron Pollard, West Indies: Along with Bravo, Pollard is another player the WICB have sidelined. With Chris Gayle coming out in support of Bravo and Pollard, the sentiment of the West Indian team is quite obvious. Their expulsion remains inexplicable.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)