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Ben Stokes puts injury concerns to bed with fifer in County Championship comeback

Ben Stokes puts injury concerns to bed with fifer in County Championship comeback

Ben Stokes had opted out of England's team for the T20 World Cup 2024 citing injury issues and seeking to concentrate in the longer format of the game.

At Blackpool’s Stanley Park, Ben Stokes took five wickets in his first County Championship match back for Durham against Lancashire in Division One. In the match against Lancashire, the all-rounder bowled 38 overs, including 20 in the second innings. Stokes destroyed Lancashire’s lower order to finish with figures of 5-98 after dismissing opener Luke Wells.

Ben Stokes on a roll

Ben Stokes had surgery in November 2023, not long after participating in the ODI World Cup in India, following a knee injury he sustained the previous year. During the final Test match of England’s 2024 tour of India, the all-round cricket player did send down a few overs despite being advised not to bowl for a while.

Ben Stokes appeared to be fully fit as of May, as evidenced by his 38-over performance for Durham during his return to the County Championship. Even in the second innings at Blackpool, the 33-year-old all-rounder claimed five wickets, including the highly sought-after scalp of Lancashire captain and established centurion Keaton Jennings.

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Tom Aspinwall, the number nine for Lancashire, was caught close to the boundary after mistiming the speedster’s short delivery halfway through the third day, becoming Ben Stokes’ fifth victim.

Stokes fit enough, but not for T20 WC

Notably, Ben Stokes had opted out of T20 World Cup 2024 in a bid to regain full fitness and concentrate on Test cricket. Bowling 20 overs in an innings definitely eliminates concern regarding injury. Then why did Stokes refuse to be a part of England team for T20 WC?

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