England will make late decision on Stokes for T20 World Cup

By Sports Desk September 07, 2021

England will make a late call on whether to include Ben Stokes in their T20 World Cup squad but he will not be put under pressure to play.

All-rounder Stokes took an "indefinite break from all cricket" in July for his mental wellbeing and to also allow an injured index finger to fully heal.

Stokes last played for England in a three-match one-day series against Pakistan in July.

His team-mates, including Test captain Joe Root and limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan, spoke out to support Stokes' decision to take a break. 

The 30-year-old has been a key performer for England in all formats of the game and inspired them to the 50-over World Cup in 2019.

England head coach Chris Silverwood, who has not yet talked to Stokes, will name his squad for the T20 World Cup on Thursday.

 

"We are going to leave that one late, to give it our best chance," Silverwood said.

"I want to give him as much space as possible but there are people talking to him outside of me and it is something we will be revisiting shortly.

"I haven't spoken to him as yet. But I will not be putting pressure on him, will not be rushing him and whatever support he needs he will get.

"First and foremost my only concern is for him and make sure he's okay. That's the starting point I will be at and the rest of the questions will come.

"I need to make sure he is okay and that is my primary concern."

England's first game of the T20 World Cup, staged in United Arab Emirates and Oman, is against West Indies on October 23.

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    England, who were without skipper Eoin Morgan after he felt his thigh in the warm-up, fell short in reply at 204-9.

    Tom Banton blazed 73 from 39 balls at the top of the order, while debutant Salt came in at six but managed 57 from 24 deliveries to keep England in the game.

    Salt was one of five changes from the second T20I and one of three debutants, alongside allrounder George Garton and Harry Brook.

    "We were done a little bit with Morgs going down and playing three debutants but they played really well," Ali said after the game.

    "A fantastic partnership took the game away from us but proud of the way the boys batted at the end."

    Sam Billings was unwell and Chris Jordan rested, while Saqib Mahmood and Liam Dawson dropped out with England offering opportunities throughout the five-game series.

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    "We've got guys putting their hands up, Bants was outstanding today, great for his confidence going forward," Ali said.

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