Ben Stokes a fitness doubt for England’s first Test of summer against Ireland

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  • Test captain has not played in the IPL for six weeks
  • England have concerns over several bowlers as Ashes looms

Ben Stokes is the latest player whose fitness for England’s opening Test of the summer has been thrown into doubt, with the coach of his Indian Premier League team admitting that the Test captain is unable to bowl and is being seen simply as “batting cover”, six weeks after his last appearance in the competition.

Despite being signed for around £1.6m in December’s player auction Stokes has so far played only the first two of Chennai Super Kings’ 13 games, scoring seven and eight and conceding 18 runs in his solitary over. Stephen Fleming has said Stokes, who has a left knee injury, is unlikely to appear in their last two matches as the team seeks to seal a place in the playoffs. “Ben’s ability to bowl overs at the moment is still a bit of a challenge but he’s there as batting cover,” the New Zealander said, adding of his potential selection in the remainder of the season that “it’s not our style to chop and change”.

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Written by Simon Burnton
This news first appeared on under the title “Ben Stokes a fitness doubt for England’s first Test of summer against Ireland”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.