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England T20 World Cup Odds: England 4/1 after Ben Stokes rules himself out of the tournament

England must attempt to retain their T20 World Cup crown without the talismanic Ben Stokes after their Test captain announced he does not wish to be considered for selection in this summer's tournament.

Stokes has been suffering from a long-term injury to his left knee which has limited his bowling participation in the last year, with the all-rounder undergoing surgery before the Test series against India.

His decision is a major blow to England's World Cup preparations, with the 32-year-old an instrumental figure in their 2022 success as he hit an unbeaten 52 to defeat Pakistan in the final.

England have drifted to 4/1 to win the tournament, while India are the 11/4 favourites to lift the trophy for the first time since the inaugural competition in 2007.

T20 World Cup 2024

With the T20 World Cup in mind, Stokes pulled out of the current Indian Premier League in November but has now opted to further delay his return to white-ball cricket.

On his choice to omit himself from the T20 World Cup, Stokes said: "I'm working hard and focusing on building my bowling fitness back up to fulfil a full role as an all-rounder in all formats of cricket.

"Opting out of the IPL and the World Cup will hopefully be a sacrifice that allows me to be the all-rounder I want to be for the foreseeable future. The recent Test tour of India highlighted how far behind I was from a bowling point of view after my knee surgery and nine months without bowling.

"I'm looking forward to playing for Durham in the County Championship before the start of our Test summer."

His decision will be of a significant headache to Matthew Mott, who must find an alternative that can deliver with both bat and ball.

England begin their defence of the T20 World Cup on June 4 against Scotland in Barbados.

With the competition format now expanded to 20 teams, England will also feature in a group with old foes Australia, Namibia and Oman, with the top two teams advancing to the Super 8s stage.

England's preparations for the tournament consist of a four-match T20I series against Pakistan, who have appointed Babar Azam as their new white-ball captain and are 8/1 to triumph this summer.

The tournament is followed by two home Test series for England against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, by which time Stokes hopes he will be fighting fit.

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