England talisman Ben Stokes could MISS the Twenty20 World Cup due to start in October after not being able to fulfil his £1.4million IPL deal
- IPL resumes in the United Arab Emirates from September but Stokes misses out
- Sources close to him claim he is ‘not even thinking about cricket at the moment’
- The talismanic all-rounder is taking an indefinite period off to protect his mental well-being and rest a fractured finger which was operated on earlier this summer
Ben Stokes’ return to action will not come at the Indian Premier League later this month and it remains doubtful whether he will take part in the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup.
The 30-year-old will not be fulfilling the remainder of his £1.4million contract with Rajasthan Royals when the IPL, which was postponed earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, resumes in the United Arab Emirates from September 19.
Whether he does travel to Dubai to feature in England’s attempts to unite both global white-ball belts next month is unclear, although sources close to Stokes say ‘he is not even thinking about cricket at the moment’.
England’s Ben Stokes could miss the Twenty20 World Cup set to start in October in the UAE
The all-rounder is not able to fulfil his £1.4million contract with the IPL outfit Rajasthan Royals
The all-rounder is taking an indefinite period off to protect his mental well-being and rest a fractured finger operated on earlier this summer.
With squads required to be submitted to the ICC by next Friday, England’s selectors will pick a 15-man group plus three reserves this weekend. An announcement is expected next Thursday, on the eve of the final Test match vs India in Manchester.
As changes can be made freely up until October 10, seven days before the tournament’s group stage begins, Chris Silverwood could provisionally name the 2019 World Cup-winning star within that 18.
However, given the circumstances, the ECB may be unwilling to place any undue pressure on their talismanic all-rounder, having said they would give him ‘all the time he needs’ when he announced his break on July 30.
Stokes is a key part of England’s white-ball side and helped them win the one-day World Cup
Typical of Stokes, he returned ahead of schedule to meet the calls of both Durham and England when Covid decimated the availability of each earlier this summer.
He subsequently led his country to a 3-0 whitewash over Pakistan in captaining the one-day team for the first time.
However, he continued to experience discomfort in his finger and it was announced he would miss the entire India Test series following two appearances for Northern Superchargers in the Hundred.
Meanwhile, the ICC are hopeful that crowds will be permitted at the October tournament. The world governing body are awaiting confirmation from the government in the UAE.