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Stokes injury concerns eased by Farbrace

By Tom Webber
Ben Stokes

London, March 14: Ben Stokes could take part in England's second warm-up match ahead of the two-Test series against New Zealand following a back injury, suggested assistant coach Paul Farbrace.

Star all-rounder Stokes watched on as New Zealand posted 376-6 on the opening day of a two-day tour match in Hamilton on Wednesday, centuries from Tom Blundell and Kyle Jamieson before retiring lifting them from 30-5.

The 26-year-old is aiming to play his first Test since his arrest following an altercation in Bristol last September, but he will not reprise his role as vice-captain with James Anderson continuing to support skipper Joe Root.

Chris Woakes and Craig Overton also sat out with respective hamstring and thigh issues, but Farbrace is confident they will all recover in time to feature in the next game on Friday.

"Stokesy should be okay. We're hoping that all of them should be fit to play some part in the next two-day game which starts here in two days," Farbrace told Sky Sports.

"We're pretty confident all should be okay. Overton and Woakes have had a gentle bowl today and Stokesy should be okay, even if plays as a batter - and there's plenty of time next week for him to get overs and be ready for the Test match in Auckland."

Reports emerged on Tuesday that Farbrace had turned down an offer to become the new head coach of Bangladesh, and he confirmed he did not wish to leave the England set-up.

"There have been conversations it's something you're always thinking about you're going to do, but for the moment I'm enjoying what we're doing here," he said.

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 17:00 [IST]
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