Ben Stokes will be absent from England's Twenty20 World Cup squad

Ben Stokes will be absent from England’s Twenty20 World Cup squad as he recovers from finger injury and focuses on mental health with Chris Silverwood set to name 15-man group to travel to United Arab Emirates

  • England are set to name their 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup 
  • But Chris Silverwood will be without Ben Stokes as he recovers from finger blow 
  • Stokes is also choosing to focus on his mental health away from cricket 
  • He can still change his mind before Middle East tournament starts in October 

Ben Stokes will be missing when England name their squad for the Twenty20 World Cup on Wednesday and remains a doubt for the Ashes that follow this winter.

England’s most important cricketer is set to continue his absence from the game while he concentrates on his mental health and the serious finger injury that first ruled him out earlier this summer.

Chris Silverwood will name a 15-man squad for England’s attempt to unite the two white-ball World Cup titles and three reserves but, as Sportsmail reported on Saturday, the crucial figure of Stokes will not be among them.

Ben Stokes (L) will be missing when Chris Silverwood (R) names his England Twenty20 World Cup squad on Wednesday

Stokes is nursing a finger injury and is also taking time away to focus on his mental health

England can make changes at any time up until October 10, the eve of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates, so Stokes will not be entirely ruled out just yet. But with England giving him as long as he needs to concentrate on his health the odds are against a late call-up.

‘I want to give Ben as much space as possible,’ said coach Silverwood in the aftermath of England’s crushing 157-run defeat by India in the fourth Test. ‘I will not be putting pressure on him, will not be rushing him, and whatever support he needs he will get.’

Silverwood yesterday named a 16-man squad for Friday’s final Test at Old Trafford that includes Jos Buttler after the birth of his second child, a daughter named Margot, and Jack Leach, who is yet to appear this summer after starring for England in India last winter.

England’s star cricketer can still change his mind before the tournament starts on October 10

Silverwood and Root have a big call to make over their seam attack, with Ollie Robinson (L) and Jimmy Anderson (R) having huge workloads during this series

The rapid return of Buttler, who averaged just 14 with the bat against India in three Tests before his paternity leave, provides a dilemma for England, who must now decide whether to take the wicketkeeping gloves back from Jonny Bairstow after just one game.

Silverwood and captain Joe Root must also see if they can find room in their side for the left-arm spin of Leach on an Old Trafford pitch that is expected to turn. He could play alongside off-spinner Moeen Ali or even replace him.

England team to play India at Old Trafford

Root (captain), Ali, Anderson, Bairstow, Burns, Buttler, Curran, Hameed, Lawrence, Leach, Malan, Overton, Pope, Robinson, Woakes, Wood. 

England’s biggest call remains the make-up of their seam attack, with both Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson having an extensive workload so far in this congested series. Chris Woakes is only just back from a year’s absence from Test cricket and Craig Overton ended defeat at the Oval with an elbow injury.

Mark Wood is expected to bring his pace and reverse swing to Manchester while Overton should be fit for selection. 

But there is no place for Lancashire’s Saqib Mahmood on his home ground as he suffered a side strain playing against Notts this week at the worst possible time.

The coach will talk to the 39-year-old Anderson before deciding if he can play in his fifth Test in little more than six weeks at his home ground.

‘It’s a discussion we’ll have together,’ added Silverwood. 

‘He will have an input into whether he plays, without a shadow of a doubt, because James knows his own body. He will certainly give me an honest answer as to where he’s at.’

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