England’s chairman of selectors David Graveney revealed Andrew Flintoff is not guaranteed to be Michael Vaughan’s understudy as vice-captain at the World Cup.
Flintoff led England in Vaughan’s absence during the 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia and for much of the ultimately successful Commonwealth Bank one-day series.
Vaughan played just three of England’s 10 one-day internationals before returning home from Australia after suffering a hamstring injury. He has been named captain of England’s 15-man World Cup squad and will undergo intensive treatment in the hope he can fly out to the Caribbean.
Graveney confirmed a decision is yet to be taken on who would replace Vaughan if he does drop out of the squad. He said: "Let’s be honest - we lost 5-0 in the Test series and five of our first six one-day internationals.
"Andrew Flintoff deputised for Michael Vaughan in that period of time. It’s only right and appropriate that he has time with his family then I’ll talk to him about his views.
"I need to sit down and listen to him and have an honest chat about how it went in the winter. My personal wish is that Michael gets off the plane at St Vincent to lead England."
If Flintoff is overlooked, Andrew Strauss would emerge as the likely vice-captain.
Vaughan is one of three players England were prepared to name in the squad even though they are battling injuries. England were criticised for taking the same approach before the Ashes.
James Anderson’s back problem flared up again in Australia and Jon Lewis was also sent home early with an ankle injury. Graveney said: "They have been named in the squad subject to a further re-assessment prior to our departure for the Caribbean.
"They will continue to undergo intensive treatment over the next fortnight and the medical staff will be giving the selectors regular updates on their progress.
"Injuries afflict other teams - that’s the nature of announcing a squad at this stage.
"The players’ rehabilitation will be monitored and we have very capable medical staff, who are realistic in their assessments of players."
Replacements will be called up from the 15 men who missed out on final selection but were included in the original 30-man World Cup squad.
Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara edged out Lancashire opener Mal Loye to win a place in the squad.
The 21-year-old won the vote because he is seen by selectors as a "multi-dimensional" cricketer who brings a "better balance" to the squad.
Leicestershire’s Paul Nixon, like Bopara a debutant in the triangular series Down Under, claims the wicketkeeper’s spot ahead of Chris Read.
Anderson, Lewis, Sajid Mahmood, Liam Plunkett and Monty Panesar are the specialist bowling options with Bopara, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff and Jamie Dalrymple the all-rounders.
The batting stocks are made up of Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen, who as recovered from a fractured rib, Ed Joyce, Ian Bell, and Andrew Strauss.
Graveney said: "This is a youthful squad with a number of highly promising players who made an excellent impression in Australia. The challenge facing the team now is to build on those performances Down Under and peak at the right time in the Caribbean."
Bopara was called into the England squad after Pietersen was injured and played in just one of the 10 matches, scoring an unbeaten seven and taking one for 29 against Australia in Sydney.
Loye played in seven matches, with a highest score of 45, and would offer an aggressive batting option at the top of the order.
But Graveney said: "Mal Loye can consider himself unfortunate not to be included as he made an encouraging start to his international career. But we feel we need a balance in the squad and two spare batsmen would be top heavy.
"Ravi is a big-match player. In the game he played he was not inhibited."
Of those who were involved with the squad in Australia, Loye plus fast bowlers Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett miss out.
England’s first warm-up match is against Bermuda in St Vincent on March 5, before the World Cup opens on March 16 against New Zealand in St Lucia.
Graveney said: "I read that England should not turn up and now we are second favourites. We know if we play well we can compete but Duncan Fletcher (England coach) is right - we can improve.
"Beating New Zealand in the first match on March 16 will be a hard challenge. They will be one of the sides that could win the World Cup so let us deal with that game first."
England’s 15-man squad for the 2007 ICC World Cup in the West Indies: M Vaughan (capt), J Anderson, I Bell, R Bopara, P Collingwood, J Dalrymple, A Flintoff, E Joyce, J Lewis, S Mahmood, P Nixon, M Panesar, K Pietersen, L Plunkett, A Strauss.
Warwickshire pair Dougie Brown and Navdeep Poonia will be heading to the West Indies with Scotland's World Cup squad. The duo keep their place in the squad which is identical to the touring party which has just returned from Kenya.
The Scots secured their place at September’s Twenty20 World Championship by reaching the final of Division One in the World Cricket League earlier this month.
Scotland undertook a five-week tour which included matches in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and Mombasa and Nairobi in Kenya in preparation for the World Cup.
New South Wales wicketkeeper Brad Haddin plus Brad Hogg and Shaun Tait have been included in Australia’s 15-man World Cup squad.
As expected, Haddin was included in the team for the West Indies as back-up for Adam Gilchrist, while Hogg gets another chance at a World Cup after winning the all-round spinner spot over Cameron White, and Tait wins the battle of the paceman over the unlucky Stuart Clark.
Andrew Symonds is also included despite rupturing his biceps in the recent Commonwealth Bank Series, while Shane Watson is also included.
AUSTRALIA: Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Nathan Bracken, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson.
SCOTLAND: Craig Wright, John Blain, Dougie Brown, Gavin Hamilton, Majid Haq, Paul Hoffmann, Douglas Lockhart, Ross Lyons, Neil McCallum, Dewald Nel, Navdeep Poonia, Glenn Rogers, Colin Smith, Ryan Watson, Fraser Watts.
BANGLADESH: Habibul Bashar, Shariar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Saqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain, Tapash Baisya, Syed Rasel, Rajin Saleh, Javed Omar.
BERMUDA:Irving Romaine, Dean Minors, Delyone Borden, Lionel Cann, David Hemp, Kevin Hurdle, Malachi Jones, Stefan Kelly, Dwayne Leverock, Saleem Mukuddem, Stephen Outerbridge, Oliver Pitcher, Clay Smith, Janeiro Tucker, Kwame Tucker.
IRELAND: Trent Johnston, Kyle McCallan, Andre Botha, Jeremy Bray, Kenny Carroll, Peter Gillespie, David Langford-Smith, John Mooney, Paul Mooney, Eoin Morgan, Kevin O’Brien, Niall O’Brien, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Andrew White.
KENYA: Steve Tikolo, Thomas Odoyo, Ravindu Shah, Tanmay Mishra, Collins Obuya, Peter Ongondo, Nehemiah Odhiambo, Maurice Ouma, Malhar Patel, Hiren Varaiya, David Obuya, Rajesh Bhudia, Jimmy Kamande, Tony Suji, Lameck Onyango.
NETHERLANDS: Luuk van Troost, Peter Borren, Daan van Bunge, Ryan ten Doeschate, Mark Jonkman, Muhammad Kashif, Alexei Kervezee, Tim de Leede, Adeel Raja, Darron Reekers, Edgar Schiferli, Jeroen Smits, Billy Stelling, Eric Szwarczynski, Bas Zuiderent.
PAKISTAN: Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Naved-ul-Hasan, Iftikhar Anjum.