Ben Stokes has said that he can understand why some people are disappointed that he has been left out of England’s T20 squad to play the West Indies in Durham, but insists that the rest will do him “a lot of good.”
Stokes will miss the one-off short-form international in Durham on Saturday, September 17 as England looks to lessen the player’s workload ahead of the winter Ashes series.
Many have criticised the decision, such as Durham chairman Sir Ian Botham who wrote in the Mirror saying, “I feel for the people at the club who have put in so much hard work around this game and built a lot of our promotion around Ben.”
Speaking about his exclusion on Sky Sports Stokes said, “It has been an interesting couple of days with everything around that. It was a collective decision from myself, [coach] Trevor Bayliss and the selectors. With the game being played at my local ground where I’ve played all of my cricket I understand that people are going to be upset.”
However, he said that as he is an all-form player it is very difficult to get a rest, even just for two or three days, and he insisted that it will do his body “a lot of good”. He said that it is “unfortunate” that it coincides with Durham but that he doesn’t think it would be “such a big issue” if it was at another ground.
Stokes said that they have a “big winter” ahead as well as the five ODIs against the Windies after the Twenty20s and as a result “It was a decision made that it was probably best to rest me then rather than in one of the five ODIs that we’ve got.”