Stokes playing the waiting game

Congleton Guardian: Ben Stokes is currently injured Ben Stokes is currently injured

Ben Stokes will have to remain patient before he can start to make up for time he has lost due to a self-inflicted injury.

England's talented all-rounder has been out for more than a month already and had to sit out the ICC World Twenty20, pondering why on earth he let his temper get the better of him in Bridgetown.

There, after making a golden duck against West Indies, he walked back into the dressing-room and took his frustration out on a locker door.

The result was a broken right wrist, a massive missed opportunity in Bangladesh and what looks sure to be at least another month on the sidelines at the start of the new English season.

He has been down this road before, having hurt himself in similar circumstances when he was a teenager, and he is struggling to find any consolation over his latest blip.

"It has definitely been frustrating," he said.

"I won't look back and say 'I'm glad I had that break'.

"It has been a long winter, but I'd rather be out there playing cricket that sat at home twiddling my thumbs."

Stokes is optimistic of a return soon but his next consultation will be on May 12 so it seems he will be missing when England begin their summer three days earlier with a trip to play Scotland in Aberdeen.

"I haven't ruled myself out of anything England-wise," said the 22-year-old, who made all the right headlines for much of last winter - notably with a maiden Test hundred in Perth.

Time may be short for him to impress sufficiently again to be in the reckoning to face Sri Lanka, the first of two visiting teams from the sub-continent this summer.

"Whenever I do get back on the field, I have to make sure I find some form and make sure I'm in the selectors' thoughts," added Stokes, who watched England's World Twenty20 campaign on television.

"It's always frustrating watching your own team play, whether it be Durham or England.

"I thought they were going to win it after [they beat] Sri Lanka - but unfortunately things didn't go too well against the Netherlands."

As for the future, Stokes has resolved never again to lose his temper with fixtures and fittings - even behind closed doors - and let bat and ball do the talking to get him back in the frame.

"Obviously it would be good to get some games under my belt. But it's my job - so I'm not going to forget how to do it.

"I hope I haven't given [England's selectors] an opportunity to say 'you are not going to play because of that'.

"I have to make sure I'm on top of this thing. Attitude was a big thing in the way I was brought up by my old man."

:: Ben Stokes was speaking ahead of the start of the NatWest T20 Blast season. Blast off is Friday 16th May, tickets can be purchased from www.ecb.co.uk/natwestt20blast

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