Ben Stokes says no to England for T20 World Cup

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England Test skipper Ben Stokes expressed a wish not to be considered for selection for their T20 World Cup title defence on Tuesday.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said that the 32-year-old opted out in order to make himself fit to play as a full-fledged all-rounder in Test cricket in the near future.

“Opting out of the IPL and the (T20) World Cup will hopefully be a sacrifice that allows me to be the all-rounder I want to be for the foreseeable future,” Stokes said in an ECB statement.

Stokes led the Test team in a 1-4 defeat in India but only bowled a cumulative five overs in the five matches.

In recent times, he has been hampered by injuries and had undergone a knee injury that limited his bowling ability.

With an eye on the six Tests — three against the West Indies and three against Sri Lanka — in the upcoming home season, Stokes’ decision was taken to give his knee more time to prepare for the demanding summer schedule that begins against the West Indies at Lord’s on July 10, less than two weeks after the June 29 T20 World Cup final in Barbados.

He played as a batter in the 2023 ODI World Cup and pulled out of the ongoing IPL 2024.

“Opting out of the IPL and the World Cup will hopefully be a sacrifice that allows me to be the all-rounder I want to be for the foreseeable future.”

Stokes was a key player in their T20 World Cup win in 2022, memorably hitting the winning run in his maiden T20I half-century as England defeated Pakistan by five wickets in Melbourne.

T20 World Cup ❌

Ben Stokes will play no part in this summer’s tournament 🏆

— England Cricket (@englandcricket) April 2, 2024

But since then he has only featured in two T20 matches since, both at last year’s IPL for Chennai Super Kings. He retired from ODI cricket in 2022 but reversed his decision play in the 50-over World Cup in India late last year.

In the last three years, Stokes has only played in three T20Is outside of World Cups. Overall, he has represented England in 43 matches, scoring 585 at an average of 21.66 with a strike rate of 128, striking only a half century, also taking 26 wickets at an average of 32.92 and an economy of 8.39.

The T20 World Cup tournament in the United States and the West Indies from June 1.

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