Ben Stokes to play first County Championship match in two years

England captain's previous appearance in a Championship encounter for Durham dates back to May 2022

By Web Desk
May 14, 2024
Stokes is not part of England's T20 World Cup squad in the West Indies and USA. - AFP

England Test captain Ben Stokes is poised to participate in his first County Championship fixture in two years as Durham play Lancashire from Friday.

Stokes' previous appearance in a Championship encounter for Durham dates back to May 2022. However, as the 32-year-old initiates his readiness for England's Test series against West Indies and Sri Lanka later this summer, he is slated to feature in the four-day Division One contest at Stanley Park in Blackpool.

"I suggest if you've got a few days over the weekend, you get yourself down to Blackpool to watch the great Ben Stokes' return for Durham," said the club's head coach Ryan Campbell.

Stokes is not part of England's T20 World Cup squad in the West Indies and USA next month as he aims to concentrate on recuperating his fitness to perform his role as an all-rounder in the Test team.

After undergoing knee surgery in the winter, Stokes participated in all five Tests during England's tour of India, yet he bowled just five overs throughout the entire series, all in the final Test.

England's first Test against the West Indies commences at Lord's on 10th July, however, Durham's fixture against Lancashire presents one of four potential red-ball matches he could partake in before that date.

Stokes abstained from playing any county cricket last summer as he managed his knee ailment before the Ashes.

He featured in three matches for Durham in Division Two in 2022 as part of his preparations for the commencement of his tenure as England captain.

Durham are gearing up to welcome Stokes back into their ranks with Australian Campbell acknowledging how exciting it is to have one of the world's best cricketers available to them.

"Suddenly there's just this air of excitement around the place just when he walks in the room," Campbell told BBC Radio Newcastle.

"You want to play against the best players in the world. But to have one of those in our own team, to show us the way, his experiences, it's unbelievable."