Ben Stokes withdraws from T20 World Cup

One of the most all-rounders in world cricket, Ben Stokes, has decided to withdraw from the upcoming T20 World Cup this summer. This decision was made to focus on maintaining and improving his fitness.
Stokes, who is known for his all-round ability on the field, said his main goal at the moment is to become the best all-rounder possible in all formats of the game. Following knee surgery over the winter and a poor performance in the Test series in India, where he bowled just five overs, he feels a strong need to improve his game and get back to his best form.
Ben Stokes, the 32-year-old England Test captain, has already withdrawn from the Indian Premier League (IPL), which began last month. With this decision, he showed that his priorities now are working on his fitness and improving his skills.
England, as the reigning T20 World champions, will next host the tournament in the West Indies and the USA in June. This tournament will be followed by England’s home Test series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, followed by a T20 series and a one-day series against Australia in September.
Stokes is confident that opting out of the IPL and World Cup will allow him to devote more time and energy to becoming the top all-rounder he wants to be. He noted that the recent Test tour of India showed him how much he still has to work on his skills after knee surgery and nine months away from cricket. He also expressed his anticipation of getting back on the field and playing for Durham in the County Championship ahead of the Test summer.
Stokes had been battling a left knee injury for a long time, which often prevented him from playing cricket. However, after surgery and time spent in rehab, he feels ready to return and is confident that he will be better and stronger in the coming years.
His decision received support from colleagues and management. Richard Gould, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, expressed his support for Stokes, noting that he had “literally put his body on the line for England for years.” Sam Billings, who played alongside Stokes in white-ball cricket for England, said he thought it was a “smart move” for Stokes given his age and current fitness.
Stokes has earned respect and recognition for his performance in cricket. Since 2011, he has played 43 T20 matches for England, scoring 585 runs and taking 26 wickets. His decision to opt out of the T20 World Cup will allow him to focus on his performance and contribution to the team, prioritizing Test cricket and improving his skills.