England star reacts to Ben Stokes missing T20 Cricket World Cup

Ben Stokes has ruled himself out of the T20 World Cup (Picture: Getty)

Ollie Robinson insists he understands Ben Stokes’ decision to opt out of England’s T20 World Cup defence.

Stokes confirmed on Tuesday that he has asked the ECB not to consider him for this summer’s tournament in the West Indies and United States so he can focus on his fitness.

The 32-year-old, who recently withdrew from his Indian Premier League commitments, hopes the break helps him be ‘the all-rounder I want to be’ across all formats.

Stokes, who took over as England Test captain 24 months ago, bowled just five overs during the recent series defeat in India after undergoing knee surgery over the winter.

He was an integral member of the England squad that lifted their second T20 World Cup trophy in 2022, hitting an unbeaten fifty in the final against Pakistan.

‘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.

‘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.

Ollie Robinson understand Stokes' decision

Ollie Robinson understand Stokes’ decision (Picture: Getty)

‘I’m looking forward to playing for Durham in the County Championship before the start of our Test summer.’

Asked about Stokes’ decision, England seamer Robinson told Sky Sports: ‘We all know how passionate he is about playing for England and also how hungry he is to get back to the top level and be the best all-rounder in the world. So there’s two sides to it. 

‘It’s going to be better to have the best Ben Stokes possible back out on the field bowling for England.

‘We have a lot of fun with the Test side, there’s no better team to be a part of. For Stokesy to want to be 100 per cent fit for the team just shows how special it is. It will be exciting to have him back fully fit.’ 

England kick-start their T20 World Cup defence against Scotland on June 4, before facing Australia, Oman and Namibia in more group games.

Following the T20 World Cup, England face home Test series against West Indies and Sri Lanka before a white-ball series against Australia at the end of the home summer.

England are the reigning T20 World Cup champions

England are the reigning T20 World Cup champions (Picture: Getty)

‘You want to see Ben Stokes in any and every team, but you fully understand the journey that he’s been on,’ said England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Richard Gould.

‘He’s someone that’s put his body on the line literally for years for England. Particularly with the new operation that he had just before Christmas and the promising rehabilitation he’s had since, there’s really good news for us.

‘The fact that now he knows that he can get better and stronger, that’s great for us for the next two, three, four years, however long, because in cricket terms he’s still a relatively young man.’

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