Ben Stokes opts out of T20 World Cup 2024 selection

"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," said Stokes.

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Ben Stokes
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Ben Stokes. (Source -Getty Images)

Star all-rounder Ben Stokes has decided to skip playing in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 as he wants to give himself time to get fit enough to play as an all-rounder. The ninth edition of the T20 World Cup is set to be held in the West Indies and the USA from June 2-29. England won the title in the last edition of the marquee event in 2022 in Australia. This year, they will look to become the first team to win three T20 World Cup titles However, they will not have the services of England's red-ball skipper Stokes.

A statement from the ECB said that Stokes is looking to regain his bowling fitness ahead of the upcoming England Test summer. The talismanic cricketer had earlier opted out of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) with the goal of getting fit to play as an all-rounder.

“I’m working hard and focusing on building my bowling fitness back up to fulfill 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," Stokes said in an interview with the ECB.

“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, Motty, and all the team the best of luck in defending our title," he added.

The Three Lions will be playing a four-match T20I series at home against Pakistan in May to prepare for the marquee event. Jos Buttler and Co. have been placed in Group B in the T20 World Cup alongside teams like arch-rivals Australia, Oman, Namibia, and Scotland. England begin their campaign on June 4 in Bridgetown, Barbados as they take on neighbours Scotland. The high-voltage clash against the Aussies will take place at the same venue on June 8.

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