England change tack to let Stokes play for Durham

Ben Stokes (AP)
Ben Stokes (AP)

London - England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be available to play as a specialist batsman for Durham in their Twenty20 Blast quarter-final at home to Sussex, the county said on Thursday.

Stokes was initially ruled out of Friday's match at Durham's Chester-le-Street headquarters after suffering minor discomfort in his left knee during England's 203-run defeat by India in the third Test at Trent Bridge which concluded on Wednesday.

Stokes was recalled by England at Trent Bridge just days after his acquittal on a charge of affray following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September last year and on Thursday he retained his place when the squad was announced for the fourth Test at Southampton starting on August 30.

Shortly after the Southampton squad was unveiled, Durham confirmed Stokes would be fit to face Sussex after all - but only in the roles of left-handed batsman and fielder rather than lively right-arm pace bowler.

"Ben Stokes has been made available by the England and Wales Cricket Board for tomorrow night's Vitality Blast quarter-final against Sussex Sharks," said a statement on Durham's website.

"The all-rounder will add significant firepower as a batsman only as the Jets aim for a place at finals day.

"Stokes was initially ruled out of contention due to a left knee niggle but has been re-assessed - and the England medical team, in conjunction with Durham, have passed him fit to play as a specialist batsman."

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