Ben Stokes pulls out of T20 World Cup 2024

England’s Test captain Ben Stokes has ruled himself out of the upcoming T20 World Cup to be played in the West Indies and the USA. He has informed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that he doesn’t want to be considered for selection for the mega event.

For the unversed, England will be defending their T20 World Champion title later this year in June as they had won the tournament in 2022 down under beating Pakistan in the final at the MCG. Coming back to Stokes, he had hit the winning runs in the final smashing his maiden half-century in T20Is.

But he has played only a couple of T20 matches since then, both in the Indian Premier League (IPL), for Chennai Super Kings. The main reason for the 32-year-old opting to not play the T20 World Cup is that he is yet to regain full fitness from his knee injury. He underwent a surgery late last year after the ODI World Cup pulling himself out of the IPL.

Moreover, he didn’t bowl in the five-match Test series against India, that concluded just before the start of IPL, until the last game in Dharamsala. Opening up about his decision, Stokes stated that his aim is to return to full fitness across all formats as an all-rounder.

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Why Ben Stokes pulled out of the T20 World Cup?

 Ben Stokes
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“I'm working hard and focusing on building my bowling fitness back up to fulfil a full role as an allrounder 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 allrounder 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 [Matthew Mott] and all the team the best of luck in defending our title,” Ben Stokes said in a statement released by ECB.

Earlier in December last year, England’s white-ball coach Matthew Mott had cleared that Stokes would walk into the side for the T20 World Cup if he is fit. “[Stokes] gives us that ability to have a seam bowler in your top six that gives you so many options with your team balance,” Mott had said of the all-rounder.

Interestingly, Ben Stokes has played only 43 T20Is since making his debut in the format back in 2011. He has scored 585 runs at a strike-rate of 128 and picked 26 wickets. Moreover, he has played only three T20Is for England outside of the World Cups in the last three years. Having said that, the all-rounder could still come into contention for the T20 World Cup in 2026 that is scheduled to be played in India and Sri Lanka as he will only be 34 years old then.


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