Ben Stokes will not play in England’s T20I series against South Africa or the Hundred, the ECB have announced. The news came as part of the announcement of the limited-overs squads for the upcoming three ODIs and three T20Is against South Africa, which begin next week.
Stokes missed the T20I series against India to rest after captaining England to four consecutive Test victories against New Zealand and India at the start of the summer. With three more against South Africa beginning in the middle of August, the decision has been taken to manage his workload, which also means missing the second edition of the Hundred for Northern Superchargers.
Stokes’ last short-form outing was for Superchargers on July 26, 2021, before he took a break from all cricket last summer. He opted out of the 2022 Indian Premier League and so will head into this winter’s T20 World Cup in Australia with minimal short-form prep. He is unlikely to play a full part in the seven T20Is in Pakistan that precede the tournament. Given the desire of white-ball coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler to establish the right balance of personnel ahead of time, it is a far from ideal situation, even if necessary to cope with a far from ideal schedule.
Yorkshire spinner Adil Rashid returns to both squads after missing the series against India, having been permitted by the ECB to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. He replaces Matt Parkinson in both squads. Jonny Bairstow, who sat out the T20 series with India, is also back in the T20I squad.
There is also a new face in the ODI squad, with Matthew Potts earning his first call-up. The Durham seamer played in all four Tests earlier this summer, taking 18 wickets at 26.72, and impressing the management team, including Test coach Brendon McCullum, with his relentless approach with the ball.
Potts, 23, has just 10 List A appearances to his name, with 16 dismissals at 23.37 and an economy rate of 5.84. His only appearance in the format in the last two years came in Durham’s Royal London Cup final against Glamorgan last season. He took 3 for 55 as his side were beaten by 58 runs.
Harry Brook, the Yorkshire batter, has been left out of the ODI squad and will play in the County Championship for Yorkshire against Somerset instead. “I’m looking forward to playing that,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’ve played a red-ball game for ages now. They’re a very good side at home but hopefully we’ll go down there and win.”
Tymal Mills, the Sussex left-arm seamer, has been left out of the T20I squad. He bowled three expensive overs in his only appearance of the series against India and has been struggling with a toe injury, but hopes to return for the start of the Hundred.
The first match of the white-ball programme against South Africa is on Tuesday at Chester-le-Street, Durham, two days after the third and final ODI with India on Sunday at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. That series is currently all square at one-all.