While all-rounder Ben Stokes has been out of action to prioritise his mental well-being, England's cricket team head coach Chris Silverwood has said that a call on his involvement in the T20 World Cup will be taken at the last minute. He said that given that Stokes is a proven match-winner with his all-round skills, the decision will be delayed as much as possible before a final word is given.
Notably, Stokes is on an "indefinite break" from the sport and there is absolutely no clarity as to when he will be back in action. The Three Lions are set to announce their T20 World Cup squad on Thursday with the International Cricket Council reportedly setting September 10 as the deadline for squad announcement.
"I'll be putting no pressure on him or rushing him, and whatever support he needs he will get," said Silverwood as quoted by BBC.
Notably, the T20 World Cup, which is happening in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, is scheduled to get underway on October 17 with the final on November 14. England are slated to play their first game against West Indies on October 23. While there is always the possibility of making a few minor changes to the squad after it is named, they are unlikely to do so unless there are a few injury concerns.
England are already without Jofra Archer for T20 World Cup
Apart from the T20 World Cup, the squad for the Ashes series in Australia, which begins on December 8, is likely to be named in late September. England have already been handed a blow with pace spearhead Jofra Archer being ruled out of the remainder of the year with an injury.
The 30-year-old Stokes had said in July that he was taking "an indefinite break from all cricket" to take care of his mental well-being and rest his left index finger which he had broken while playing for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League 2021 in April. While it is being learned that Stokes has not spoken to coach Silverwood yet, he has had a few words with other members of the England set-up itself.
"I will give him as much space as I can, but there are people talking to him," Silverwood added as per the same report.
"My only concern is for him. I just want to make sure he's OK. Once we've got to that, the rest of the questions will come," he added.