England could miss the services of Ben Stokes during the men's T20 World Cup in Oman and the UAE in October and November. The star all-rounder, who has been on an indefinite break from all forms of cricket since July to take care of his mental well-being, is not a part of the ongoing Test series versus India and the impending second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
England head coach Chris Silverwood said he won't be putting "pressure" on Stokes and will make a late decision over the left-hander's inclusion.
Stokes, who has struggled with a finger injury throughout the summer, recently played for the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred. After two outings for Superchargers, the 30-year-old announced his break from the sport with immediate effect.
His last international appearance came as a captain for the three-match ODI series against Pakistan.
“We are going to leave that one late, to give it our best chance. I haven’t spoken to him as yet. I want to give him as much space as possible but there are people talking to him outside of me and it is something we will be revisiting shortly.
“But I will not be putting pressure on him, will not be rushing him and whatever support he needs he will get," said Silverwood on Stokes' availability for the marquee tournament.
England are set to pick their 15-member squad for the T20 spectacle on Thursday but there's a possibility of Stokes' addition to the mix, with the final set of players to be named on October 10.
“First and foremost my only concern is for him and make sure he’s okay. That’s the starting point I will be at and the rest of the questions will come, but first and foremost I need to make sure he is okay and that is my primary concern," Silverwood further said.