It has also been reported that Stokes later in the day was spotted doing some light running drills – jogging moderately for another five minutes – but never looked match-ready.
Earlier, Afghanistan head coach Jonathan Trott criticised the state of the HPCA Stadium following his side’s match with Bangladesh on Saturday, claiming that the loose, sandy outfield presented an injury risk to his players.
The former English batsman stated that his players were “unsure” of their footing and that Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman had been lucky to avoid serious injury after his knee jerked in the turf as he slid to stop a boundary against Bangladesh.
While it is understood that the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the match referee have confirmed they were “comfortable” with the conditions of HPCA, there had been rumours suggesting England may not pick Stokes for their upcoming game because of the rough outfield.
At the press conference on Monday, a reporter also asked Buttler if their decision about Stokes’s involvement was solely dependent on his fitness or if it also had something to do with the HPCA ground. Replying to the same, Buttler made it clear that any decision around Stokes at the moment was “completely” related to his fitness levels.
Stokes, who has been dealing with a lingering left knee injury, missed England’s opening fixture because of a hop problem. The 32-year-old cricketer’s situation is being closely monitored and assessed on a daily basis.
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