Ben Stokes rules himself out of T20 Cricket World Cup selection to focus on regaining all-rounder fitness

April 02, 2024

Ben Stokes has confirmed he does not wish to be considered for England selection for this summer's ICC Men's T20 World Cup, which will take place in June in the West Indies and USA.

Stokes' primary focus is to get fully fit to bowl not only for the summer of Test cricket, which includes two three-match Test series against West Indies and Sri Lanka, but for all forms of cricket in the future.

England Test captain Stokes said: "I'm working hard and focusing on building my bowling fitness back up to fulfil a full role as an all-rounder in all formats of cricket.

"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.

"I wish Jos (Buttler), Motty (white-ball coach Matthew Mott) and all the team the best of luck in defending our title."

England's ICC Men's T20 World Cup defence starts on June 4 against Scotland at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. They will then play group matches against Australia, Oman, and Namibia in Barbados and Antigua before qualification for the Super 8s and knockout stages.

With the event expanded to 20 teams, teams will be divided into four groups of five, with Ireland in Group A and both England and Scotland in Group B, with the top two from each then advancing to the Super 8 stage.

The Super 8s will feature two pools of four with the top two making the semi-finals, ahead of the final in Barbados on June 29, with all matches from the four-week tournament exclusively live on Sky Sports.

Curran: Stokes is a big loss to World Cup defence

England's fast bowler Sam Curran said Stokes' omission from the T20 World Cup will be a big loss to England's title defence.

Curran featured with Stokes during England's victory over Pakistan in Australia in 2022 when they were crowned T20 champions.

"Stokes is an incredible player and he will be a huge loss for the side but I'm sure he is getting his body so he can go back to being that all-rounder we know," Curran said speaking to Sky Sports.

"I'm sure he's focussing on getting back to bowling really well and hoping that his body can get together for the summer.

"There's a lot of amazing talent in England so whoever gets the opportunity to go to the West Indies will be really looking forward to it.

"We have extremely great memories of the last T20 World Cup in Australia so it's always nice to have that in the back of our minds.

"Right now my focus is on the IPL and straight after is the World Cup and I'd love to be part of another winning team.

"I think we've got an extremely strong side and a strong squad. We're extremely confident but everyone starts at the same point in the groups and it can be tough in new conditions but the preparation the guys are getting out here in the IPL is amazing."

Curran is currently featuring for the Punjab Kings in the IPL, live on Sky Sports, alongside his England counterparts Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone and Chris Woakes.

"The quality of cricket here is extremely high," Curran added.

"The messaging from the captain and the coach back in England has been to put good performances in for your franchises and keep trying to push your case for these tournaments."

Group stage

  • Group A - India, Pakistan, Ireland, Canada, USA
  • Group B - England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland, Oman
  • Group C - New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda, Papua New Guinea
  • Group D - South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Nepal

Watch the 2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup this June live on Sky Sports. Stream the best sport with NOW.

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