England’s Goalkeeper, Joe Harts Opts To Play Cricket Over Football

Joe Hart, who was England’s number one goalkeeper at the past three major tournaments, did not find a place in Gareth Southgate’s 23-member squad for the tournament in Russia and on Saturday, while England secured passage to semi-finals after beating Sweden, Hart was busy playing cricket for his hometown club Shrewsbury.

The 31-year-old scored six runs batting at number nine and took a catch as Shrewsbury defeated Knowle and Dorridge to win the Birmingham League Premier Division match.

Hart, who has played 75 matches for England, has witnessed a dip in his form in recent times.

He didn’t get selected for the World Cup squad despite playing nine of England’s 10 World Cup qualifiers. He last played for England against Brazil in a friendly match in November 2017.

The Manchester City goalkeeper was shipped out to Italian club Torino for a loan spell after Pep Guardiola joined the club in 2016.

He spent the last season on loan at Premier League club West Ham United, where he was dropped to the bench towards the later part of the season in the favour of Adrian by manager David Moyes.

Meanwhile, England will play Croatia on Wednesday for a place in the final of the World Cup.

Entering the tournament with minimal expectations and the second youngest team at the World Cup, England surprised many by reaching their third ever World Cup semi-final.