1 Jun 2017

Stokes a concern for England cricketers

11:37 am on 1 June 2017

The New Zealand born Ben Stokes is a fitness concern for the England cricketers heading into tonight's opening Champions Trophy match against Bangladesh at The Oval.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Stokes will play despite a knee problem but his workload will be determined by a fitness test just before the game.

The 25 year all-rounder did bowl in practice today.

"I certainly see him bowling," said England captain Eoin Morgan.

Stokes showed signs of his knee problem in the first ODI against South Africa last week and despite making a century in the second ODI, only bowled three overs.

England, who have never won a global 50-over trophy, begin the eight-team tournament as favourites with the bookmakers only 15 months after a shambolic World Cup campaign that saw them eliminated in the first round.

They are joined in Group A by Australia and New Zealand, the two World Cup finalists, with the top two teams progressing to the semi-finals.

New Zealand open up against Australia at Edgbaston tomorrow night.