England all-rounder Stokes is taking an indefinite break from all cricket to prioritise his mental wellbeing and to rest his left index finger; he last played competitively for the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred in late July; T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman begins on October 17
Last Updated: 07/09/21 11:58am
England head coach Chris Silverwood says Ben Stokes’ participation at the T20 World Cup is still uncertain.
Stokes has not played any part in the ongoing Test series against India as he is taking an indefinite break from all cricket to prioritise his mental wellbeing and to rest his left index finger.
He last played for England when he captained the side earlier this summer in the one-day series against Pakistan, and he also made two appearances for the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred.
Squads for the T20 World Cup, which starts in UAE and Oman on October 17, need to be submitted by Friday, September 10. Selectors will pick a 15-man group plus three reserves, with changes able to be made up until October 10.
Asked about Stokes’ availability, Silverwood said: “We will leave that one until later, obviously whatever support Ben needs he will get from us.
“I haven’t spoken to him yet, I’m giving him as much space as I can, but there are people talking to him outside of me. I will be putting no pressure on him, I will not be rushing him, and whatever support he needs he will get.
“My only concern is for him, I want to make sure he is OK. Once I get to that, the rest of the questions will come, but first and foremost I need to make sure he is OK.”
Stokes is not set to play for Rajasthan Royals when the Indian Premier League, which was postponed earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, resumes on September 19.
England made the final of the last T20 World Cup in 2016, losing to West Indies after Carlos Brathwaite hit four sixes in a row off Stokes in the final over.
Ashley Giles, managing director of England men’s cricket, said in July that Stokes will be “given as long as he needs”.
“Ben has shown tremendous courage to open up about his feelings and wellbeing. Our primary focus has always been and will continue to be the mental health and welfare of all of our people.”
Jos Buttler has been included in England’s squad for the fifth Test against India along with spinner Jack Leach.
Buttler missed the fourth Test at The Oval, which England lost by 157 runs to fall 2-1 behind in the five-match series, as his wife gave birth to their second child. Leach hasn’t played for England since March.
Watch day one of the fifth Test, at Emirates Old Trafford, live from 10am on Friday on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event.