Eoin Morgan defends selectors' decision to rest Stokes for T20I against West Indies
England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan came in support of the decision to rest Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes for the one-off Twenty20 International against West Indies to be played on Saturday in Chester-le-Street.
Nearly 13,000 spectators at Riverside Ground will miss their local hero Stokes in action and also his battle with West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite that was one of the defining moment in the 2016 World T20 final at Eden Gardens.
Even though the decision to rest Stokes on his home ground was widely criticised, Morgan said it was important to manage the workload of the 26-year-old with an important Ashes series in Australia around the corner.
"I can see both sides of it, of course guys want to see him play," said Morgan.
"And if there wasn't an injury risk down the line or a huge Ashes tour coming up potentially he might be able to play.
"It's unfortunate it has to be a game at his home ground but we have to stay strong with the decisions and the plans we have so down the line we don't regret playing him in a one-off game."
Brathwaite shot to fame for his heroics in the final of 2016 World T20 when he smashed Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the final over to help West Indies claim their second title in the shortest format but Morgan believes the all-rounder has improved vastly from the incident.
"It's nothing to us," he added.
"It's a long time ago. Ben has obviously learned a lot since then, become a more senior, more experienced player since then and he's better for the experience.
"We played Windies in March and Ben bowled at Carlos...he got him out in the last game."
Following the one-off T20I, both England and West Indies will face other in a five match ODI series to be played between 19th and 29th September.
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