Injured Stokes gives Bell extra chance

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes

First published in Sport © by

Ben Stokes will miss next week's England Lions match against West Indies because of a back injury, and will be replaced by Test batsman Ian Bell.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that Durham all-rounder Stokes, who has had a scan on the back problem currently preventing him from bowling, will not be fit in time to face the Windies at Northampton.

National selector Geoff Miller said: "It is unfortunate that Ben's injury has ruled him out of the match against West Indies."

It presents an opportunity for Bell, out of form for much of the winter but back with a hundred for Warwickshire this week, to have another innings before the first Test at Lord's on May 17.

Miller added: "Ian Bell was keen to play another game before the Investec Test series - and after performing well for Warwickshire this week, this match provides an ideal opportunity for him to continue his preparations as well as helping to ensure England Lions prove challenging opposition for West Indies."

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