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England’s Ben Stokes likely to miss T20 World Cup

Stokes withdrew from England's test squad for the series against India. Source: Sky Sports

LONDON: England coach Chris Silverwood said he will make a late decision on all-rounder Ben Stokes’ involvement in the Twenty20 World Cup which begins next month.

Stokes, 30, withdrew from England’s test squad for the series against India after saying he would take an “indefinite break” from cricket to prioritise his mental wellbeing,  and to recover fully from a badly broken finger sustained during Rajasthan Royals’ opening match of the IPL in April.

Having struggled with a finger injury, Stokes missed England’s home test series against New Zealand in June but briefly returned to competitive action ahead of schedule later that month to captain a second-string one-day side.

“We are going to leave that one late, to give it our best chance,” said Silverwood. “Whatever support Ben needs he will get from us,” said Silverwood.

The International Cricket Council needs squads to be submitted by Friday and it seems highly unlikely that Stokes will make the list.  Silverwood said he did not want to rush Stokes back into action before he was ready.

“I haven’t spoken to him just yet because I want to give him as much space as possible,” Silverwood said. “But I will not be putting pressure on him or rushing him, and whatever support he needs he will get. First and foremost, my only concern is for him and making sure he is okay.”

Stokes’ absence would be a major blow to their hopes of adding the 20-over title to the 50-over crown that he was instrumental in securing in the final against New Zealand in 2019. 
The T20 World Cup will take place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14. England will be without fast bowler Jofra Archer, who is out until next year with an elbow injury. They will name their 15-man squad for the tournament on Thursday.