Stokes punches himself out of contention for World T20

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes
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England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the ICC World Twenty20 after punching a locker in frustration and breaking his hand.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the ICC World Twenty20 after punching a locker in frustration and breaking his hand.

Stokes reacted to his dismissal for a golden duck in Thursday’s narrow victory over West Indies at the Kensington Oval by smashing the locker back in the England dressing room.

The 22-year-old will be replaced in a 15-man squad in Bangladesh by Chris Woakes, who performed impressively with bat and ball in England Lions’ recent tour of Sri Lanka.

By contrast, Stokes – who made a maiden century at Perth in this winter’s Ashes - has suffered an alarming dip in form, mustering just 13 runs in five limited-overs innings in the Caribbean and taking no wickets.

His self-inflicted injury adds to a list of fitness issues for England, with Joe Root already out of the imminent World Twenty20 after breaking his thumb when he was hit by a short ball from Ravi Rampaul in a one-day international win in Antigua last week.

Ian Bell was called up to replace Root, while captain Stuart Broad is also a doubt with patella tendinitis – and his deputy Eoin Morgan has been struggling too with his own knee injury.

Stokes said: “I am really disappointed to be missing out on going to a World T20 with England.

“It was a huge error in judgement following a frustrating tour for me and I deeply regret my behaviour.

“I would like to wish the team all the very best in Bangladesh.”

Stokes’ misdemeanour is not the first of his otherwise highly-promising career.

It is just 13 months since he was sent home, along with fellow all-rounder Matt Coles, from a Lions tour of Australia after England and Wales Cricket Board management staff lost patience with the pair’s persistent late-night drinking.

Shortly before his Test debut in Adelaide last December, Stokes voiced his gratitude to then team director Andy Flower for giving him a “second chance” at an international career.

He repaid the faith with his all-round performances, one of the very few bright spots for England as they descended to an Ashes whitewash. After breaking the scaphoid bone in his right hand, in a fit of temper, it has yet to be determined how quickly he will be able to recover.

He is to undergo “further assessment” on his return home, with the beginning of his domestic season for Durham set to start in under a month and England’s summer programme beginning with an ODI against Scotland in Aberdeen on May 9.

Meanwhile Jonathan Trott has revealed he felt guilty for leaving the Ashes tour early with a stress-related illness, but believes he will be ready to return for England’s opening match against the Scots.

Trott flew home from Australia after the first Test in Brisbane after he had become so ill that he was not eating or sleeping properly.

“I’d experienced a lot of success with England and a lot of good times and not many bad times and seeing the guys struggling out there was pretty tough in that I should have been there going through the tough times,.

“That was probably the toughest thing being at home while the other guys are getting a bit of a barrage in Australia and I’m what felt like a million miles away from it.”

Trott revealed a sense of guilt had almost immediately kicked in once he flew out of Australia.

The right-hander was already half-way home, in Hong Kong, when the announcement was made that he had left the tour.

“It was really weird,” Trott said.

“I woke up in Hong Kong and the news was about to break in Australia I’d left so it was really strange, and then the guys walked out at Adelaide [for the second Test] and things didn’t go well and a feeling of guilt started kicking in.”

Trott came under fire from Australia in the first Test, where he was twice dismissed cheaply by man-of-the-series Mitchell Johnson, while opener David Warner described him as “weak”.

“I remember day two or day three - it was a bit of a blur,” Trott said.

“I was getting headaches and all sorts of things and I wasn’t eating properly towards the end and that’s when the sleep started getting disruptive and emotionally that was probably when I was worst and it just boiled over.

“I had nothing left in the tank or the battery - mentally and emotionally pretty drained.

“In Brisbane I spoke to the doc and on one of the last nights I was there he said, ‘You know if I was in the situation and I was a GP I’d sign you off for three weeks from work and say come back and see me in three weeks’.

“But we’re on an Ashes tour and you can’t do that, so I didn’t have anywhere to go really, so I made the decision along with everyone else that it was the best option.”

When Trott returned home he was reluctant to leave his house, for fear of public opinion, but after a few months away believes burnout was the central reason for his problems.

“I was a little bit worried about going out in public because people look at you and I’d been all over the press and you don’t know what people are thinking,” he said.

“You know, they think ‘There goes that nutcase’ or whatever and you’re not quite sure what people’s perceptions are because anybody would want to go on an Ashes tour and play in an Ashes and he’s just walked away from that and it was tough.

“People come up to you and say, ‘It’s good to see you’re out and about’ and I’m like, ‘I’m not crazy I was just burnt out’.”

Trott’s winter had left question marks over his England future, but he believes he is now ready to push for a place with the nation team again.

Trott has targeted the opening game of the summer, a one-day international against Scotland on May 8, with a return to cricket with Warwickshire scheduled for April 1, when they play Gloucestershire in a two-day pre-season match.

he said: “I know there’s a Scotland game at the beginning of May. That would be a good game to get back into the mix.”

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