Morgan defends decision to rest Stokes


England limited overs skipper Eoin Morgan has defended the decision to rest Ben Stokes for the one-off T20I against the West Indies in Durham.

The move to rest the allrounder for the only international match to be staged at his home ground of Chester-Le-Street has angered some associated with the club.

Morgan though feels that Stokes fitness is of primary concern.

Speaking ahead of the match in the north of England Morgan said: “I can see both sides of it, of course guys want to see him play.

“And if there wasn’t an injury risk down the line or a huge Ashes tour coming up potentially he might be able to play.

“It’s unfortunate it has to be a game at his home ground but we have to stay strong with the decisions and the plans we have so down the line we don’t regret playing him in a one-off game.”

The last time these teams met in a T20I was the World T20 final where Stokes got hammered by now skipper of the West Indies Carlos Brathwaite.

Morgan feels that the match doesn’t weigh heavily on the world class allrounder.

He would add: “It’s a long time ago. Ben has obviously learned a lot since then, become a more senior, more experienced player since then and he’s better for the experience.

“We played Windies in March and Ben bowled at Carlos…he got him out in the last game.”

England wrap up their home season with five ODIs after the one-off T20I and their next assignment will then be the Ashes tour which gets underway in November.