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Stokes opts out of T20 World Cup

April 03, 2024 00:00:00

LONDON, Apr 02 (AFP): Test captain Ben Stokes has ruled himself out of England's T20 World Cup title defence, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Tuesday.

The 32-year-old said he was skipping the tournament in the United States and the West Indies to make sure he could be a fully-fledged all-rounder in Test cricket.

"Opting out of the IPL (Indian Premier League) and the (T20) World Cup will hopefully be a sacrifice that allows me to be the all-rounder I want to be for the foreseeable future," Stokes said in an ECB statement.

Stokes's withdrawal was something of a surprise given that, when asked last month if he would participate in the T20 World Cup in June, he said he had "not even thought about that but I'm available".

It is understood Stokes has not suffered any setbacks after briefly returning to bowling last month during a Test tour of India where England lost a five-match series 4-1.

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