Ben Stokes will not be named in England’s T20 World Cup squad on Thursday as he continues to take time away from the game.
And Stokes’ participation in both the tournament and the Ashes that follows remains in serious doubt as he continues to prioritise his mental and physical well-being above anything else.
Stokes took a step back from cricket earlier this year to look after his mental health and deal with ongoing issues around the little finger on his left hand which was broken at the IPL in April.
And while the all rounder continues to receive professional support for both his mental health and the sore digit, he is not yet contemplating a return to the game.
No target date has been set by the player or the ECB for a likely return, with discussions taking place only around his health.
He will again see specialists regarding his finger as to the best options for trying to reduce the level of pain he still feels in the area.
And only once he is well enough in both mind and body to resume training, will he and the ECB set about a program to get him back on the field, which may not be until 2022.
When it comes to Stokes England head coach Chris Silverwood admitted: “We are going to leave that one late, to give it our best chance. Whatever support Ben needs he will get from us.
“I want to give him as much space as possible, but there are people talking to him outside of me.
"First and foremost my only concern is for him and making sure he’s ok and that’s the starting point I will be at and the rest of the questions will come.
“It is something we will be revisiting shortly. But I will not be putting pressure on him, will not be rushing him and whatever support he needs he will get.”
England will name a 15 man squad with three reserve players for the T20 tournament to be staged in the UAE next month.
In Stokes’ absence, Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone and Surrey’s Sam Curran will be two all rounders named in a World Cup squad for the first time.
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