Stokes makes that mark on Championship return

He is aiming to operate as a genuine all-rounder after knee surgery

AFP May 18, 2024
BACK IN THE GROOVE: England captain Ben Stokes, pictured bowling during last year's Ashes Test against Australia at Lord's, took two wickets for Durham against Lancashire. Photo: AFP


England Test captain Ben Stokes marked his first County Championship appearance for Durham in two years with two wickets on Friday.

Stokes, aiming to operate as a genuine all-rounder with England once again this season following knee surgery, dismissed Josh Bohannon, captain of the second-string England Lions and New Zealand's Tom Bruce during his return to Championship action in a First Division match against Lancashire at Blackpool.

Lively medium-pacer Stokes ended the opening day of four with encouraging figures of 2-70 from 17 overs after playing most of last year as a specialist batsman.

But it was his former Durham teammate Keaton Jennings who took centre stage at Blackpool, the ex-England opener scoring 115, including 17 fours, in a Lancashire total of 350-9.

Stokes, 32, has ruled himself out of England's T20 World Cup title defence in the United States and the Caribbean next month in order to make sure he can be selected as a fully-fledged all-rounder in Test cricket.

England are due to play six Tests -- three against the West Indies and three against Sri Lanka -- in their 2024 home season.

The first Test against the West Indies at Lord's starts on July 10, less than two weeks after the June 29 T20 World Cup final in Barbados.


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