Fans all say the same thing as Ben Stokes delivers brutal blow to England ahead of T20 World Cup

Cricket fans have been left in disbelief as news broke that Ben Stokes will not play in the T20 World Cup.

The England Test captain has decided to focus on his bowling rather than taking part in the tournament later this year.


Stokes will play no role for EnglandCredit: Getty

Stokes only returned to bowling in the recent series against India after recovering from a nagging knee problem.

And for physical fitness reasons, he decided not to participate in the World Cup.

In a short statement on England Cricket’s official Instagram account, they said: “Ben Stokes will not play any part in this summer’s tournament.

“Our Test captain’s main goal is to be fully fit to bowl, not just for the summer of Test cricket, but for all cricket in the future.”

Stokes added: “I wish Jos (Buttler), Motty (Matthew Mott) and the whole team the best of luck in defending our title.”

This left many fans wondering if this was a late April Fool’s joke.

Writing on Instagram, one said: “April fools #prank#2.”

On X, formerly known as Twitter, another posted: “Another April Fool’s joke please?”

Stokes' decision not to participate comes less than two years after he helped England win the T20 World Cup in Australia.


Stokes’ decision not to participate comes less than two years after he helped England win the T20 World Cup in Australia.Credit: Getty

A third added: “April Fool’s Day was yesterday guys.”

During this time, we simply said: “April Fool’s Day?”

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This news is a blow to the reigning champions heading into this summer’s tournament.

The Durham all-rounder played a crucial role in England’s victory in 2022, with an unbeaten 50 in the final against Pakistan to ensure they briefly became T20 and One-Day World Champions.

Of course, they lost the latter title in 2023 with a dreadful performance in India, and their hopes of retaining this one have also been dealt a major blow, with Stokes ruling himself out.

However, it is good news for Durham, who should have their star player available for selection in the County Championship.

Speaking to the ECB website, Stokes said: “I am working hard and focusing on getting my bowling fitness back in shape to fully fulfill my role as an all-rounder in all formats of cricket.

“Withdrawing from the IPL and the World Cup will hopefully be a sacrifice that will allow 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 am 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 our Test summer begins.”

Buttler was deprived of one of his star men


Buttler was deprived of one of his star menCredit: Getty

So it seems like Stokes is potentially sacrificing short-term glory for long-term success.

Either way, it’s a blow for England, who will travel to the West Indies and the United States later this year hoping to become back-to-back champions.


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