Harry Brook, the England U19 captain, has been dropped for the final game of their ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup campaign.
An ICC media release confirmed that England had reported his omission was for “a disciplinary matter, but are yet to disclose the reason.”
Vice-captain Will Jacks was put in charge for England’s seventh-place playoff against New Zealand in Queenstown.
Brook, who broke into Yorkshire’s 1st XI on several occasions last season, had enjoyed an excellent tournament with the bat, scoring 239 runs including two half-centuries and a century, averaging 119.5, although he made a duck in England’s Super League quarter-final defeat – one of eight victims for Australia’s long-haired legspinner Lloyd Pope as he shot to prominence in spectacular fashion.
Brook’s omission on disciplinary grounds continues a problematic winter for England. Their Ashes campaign, which ended in a 4-0 defeat against Australia was tarnished by off-the-field allegations about behaviour.
In the febrile atmosphere which originated from a police investigation into Ben Stokes’ conduct outside a Bristol nightclub in September (Stokes was later charged with affray), England’s behaviour in Australia has been under constant scrutiny.
Jonny Bairstow was widely ridiculed for a headbutt greeting to Australia’s batsman Cameron Bancroft in a Perth nightclub at the start of the tour and, in the same bar, the England Lions batsman, Ben Duckett, was suspended from all remaining matches on the tour, fined the “maximum allowable amount” and given a final written warning about his conduct after pouring a drink over James Anderson.
Just as they restored equilibrium with a triumphant 4-1 win in the one-day series, England are again creating interest for the wrong reasons.