DAVID WILLEY talks of being gutted and heartbroken at his World Cup omission - but his character shines through when he looks to the future.

Jofra Archer was preferred to the White Rose all-rounder in England’s final 15-man squad for a tournament which begins on Thursday.

Willey has spoken of selection for a home World Cup being a childhood dream, but he also insists he will not dwell on the disappointment for too long as he prepares to face Hampshire in the Specsavers County Championship at Emerald Headingley.

“For me, I’m back at Yorkshire now, and my focus turns to my task ahead,” he said.

“Ultimately, I’ve got to make myself a better cricketer and put myself in a position where they can’t leave me out again in the future.

“We start on Monday against Hampshire. Yorkshire are in a decent position in the County Championship table, and hopefully I can be a part of a successful summer, not only with the red ball but also in the T20."

On the World Cup, the 29-year-old said: “I’ve been working towards it for four years, so to miss out at the 11th hour, I’m bitterly disappointed. I’m gutted.

“I got a call the night before it came out (Monday) from (selector) Ed Smith, who told me. He gave me the reasons why, and I respect those reasons. I just have to crack on.

“I think this is the hardest point of my career.

“I don’t think I’ve missed an England squad in the last four years apart from Sri Lanka (over the winter) when I was injured.

“I’d been gearing towards this. A home World Cup is what you dream of as as kid.

“Anyone in my situation would be absolutely heartbroken. But there’s no point dwelling on it or being bitter. It’s not going to do me any favours.”

Willey was part of England’s provisional 15-man World Cup squad. But it was obvious to all the bowlers that Archer would be drafted in and someone would miss out.

“I felt like that (recent) Pakistan series was the most pressure I’ve ever played under on a cricket field,” he admitted.

“We knew someone was going to miss out, but we still wished everyone would do well when they were playing. That’s a testament to the group.

“It’s a great group to be a part of.

“I’m gutted to miss out, but I wish the boys well and hope they go all the way.

“Eoin Morgan dropped me a message. I think all the lads messaged me, which was nice. But it was great that I had my family and kids around me, so all wasn’t bad.”

There is still a chance he could get called up should injury hit one of the bowlers.

“I’ll keep myself fit and play some cricket," he said. "Should one of the bowlers go down - and I don’t wish it on anybody because I’ve been there myself - I’m hopefully the next in line and will take the opportunity with open arms.”

Willey also insists he has no qualms over the ECB’s decision to change the eligibility criteria for overseas-born players this winter, ultimately making West Indian Archer available for selection.

“It is what it is,” he said. "You could look at it and be bitter, but I’m not going to do that. He’s a great talent, and there’s no doubt Jofra’s a great asset to have coming into a World Cup.”

England's next major tournament after the World Cup is the World T20 in Australia in late 2020.

“I’m not part of this one, but I’ve got more ambition and drive to be a part of that,” he added.