Colly frustrated by Stokes omission


Published: Monday 2nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Paul Collingwood believes England’s decision to leave Ben Stokes out of their World Cup squad was a strange one, saying the all-rounder “could’ve won you the World Cup”.

Stokes gave the national selectors a stunning reminder of his talents with a brutal century and three wickets as England Lions beat South Africa A by 89 runs earlier on Monday to wrap up the one-day series.

Durham all-rounder Stokes, who was in England’s 30-man provisional squad for the upcoming World Cup but controversially failed to make the final cut, clubbed 15 sixes and seven fours as he scored an unbeaten 151 off just 86 deliveries at the Mamelodi Oval in Pretoria.

Stokes then showed his skills with the ball, taking three of the final four South Africa wickets to fall as the hosts were bowled out for 289 in the 43rd over, leaving the Lions celebrating an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Former England one-day captain Collingwood condemned the choice not to take the 23-year-old to Australia and New Zealand.

He told BBC Radio Five: “The thing that frustrates me is that England were batting him in the number eight position… He can win games of cricket with the bat solely.

“You’ve got a guy here who – if he came good in the World Cup – he could’ve won you the World Cup, he could have won three or four games.”

Durham skipper Collingwood compared the decision to play Stokes lower down the batting order to Real Madrid or Portugal fielding FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo in a defensive position.

He added: “If you’re going to play him, you’ve got to play him in the right position – whether that be (batting at) four, five, or six.

“What England did with him is like telling Cristiano Ronaldo to play at right-back, express yourself on the pitch and score goals.”

England have been handed a relatively easy group at the World Cup and, although they face Australia on February 14, they will also take on smaller nations such as Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Scotland.

Published: Monday 2nd February 2015 by The News Editor

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