Ben Stokes © Getty Images (File Photo)
Ben Stokes © Getty Images (File Photo)

England all-rounder Ben Stokes will be available to play as a specialist batsman for Durham in their T20 Blast quarter-final at Chester-le-Street against Sussex, the county informed the media on Thursday.

Stokes suffered a minor discomfort in his knee during England’s 203 run loss to India in the Trent Bridge Test. That cast a doubt on his availability for the important quarter-final but it didn’t turn out to be too serious a strain and the England and Wales Cricket Board have released Stokes as a specialist batsman.

Stokes was recalled by England at Trent Bridge just days after his acquittal on a charge of affray following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September last year and on Thursday he retained his place when the squad was announced for the fourth Test at Southampton starting on August 30.

Durham confirmed Stokes’s availability as a batsman for the quarter-final shortly after England’s Southampton Test squad was announced. “Ben Stokes has been made available by the England and Wales Cricket Board for tomorrow night’s Vitality Blast quarter-final against Sussex Sharks,” said a statement on Durham’s website.

“The all-rounder will add significant firepower as a batsman only as the Jets aim for a place at finals day. Stokes was initially ruled out of contention due to a left knee niggle but has been re-assessed — and the England medical team, in conjunction with Durham, have passed him fit to play as a specialist batsman,” the statement added.