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England all-rounder Ben Stokes rules himself out of T20 World Cup

England all-rounder Stokes rules himself out of T20 World Cup
© Reuters
England all-rounder Ben Stokes rules himself out of the T20 World Cup later this year.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has made the decision to rule himself out of the T20 World Cup later this year.

In the 2022 edition, Stokes played a pivotal role in the final, producing a knock of 52 to help England win the tournament with victory over Pakistan.

However, there will be no repeat for the 32-year-old who has opted to take a step back from the shortest format of the game for fitness reasons.

Since becoming England's Test captain, Stokes has generally taken himself out of the bowling attack to focus on the duties that come with that responsibility.

Furthermore, he underwent surgery on his knee towards the back end of 2023, which allowed him to play a full part in the five-match series in India at the beginning of the year.

Nevertheless, Stokes did not bowl until the fifth and final Test, which was a dead-rubber with India already 3-1 up in the series, where he took 1-17 off five overs.

The limitations on his fitness and ability that came during that series have seemingly convinced Stokes to ease back on his schedule in order to give himself the best chance of being a bonafide all-rounder in the Test arena.

Stokes said: "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.

"The recent Test tour of India highlighted how far behind I was from a bowling point of view after my knee surgery and nine months without bowling.

"I'm looking forward to playing for Durham in the County Championship before the start of our Test summer."

With the T20 World Cup taking place in the West Indies and USA in June, England have no Test fixtures on their calendar until facing West Indies at Lord's, a game which starts on July 10.

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India celebrate taking an England wicket in the fifth Test on March 7, 2024.
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