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Stokes locker punch is major blow

BEN STOKES, the England all-rounder, will miss the ICC World Twenty20 after punching a locker in frustration and breaking a hand.

stokes:  'It was a  huge error  in judgement following a frustrating tour for me'
stokes: 'It was a huge error in judgement following a frustrating tour for me'

Stokes reacted to his dismissal for a golden duck in yesterday's narrow victory over West Indies at the Kensington Oval by smashing the locker in the England dressing room.

The 22-year-old will be replaced in a 15-man squad in Bangladesh by Chris Woakes, who performed impressively with bat and ball in England Lions' recent tour of Sri Lanka. By contrast, Stokes - who made a maiden Test century at Perth in this winter's Ashes - has suffered an alarming dip in form, mustering just 13 runs in five limited-overs innings in the Caribbean and taking no wickets.

His self-inflicted injury adds to a list of fitness issues for England, with Joe Root already out of the imminent World Twenty20 after breaking his thumb when he was hit by a short ball from Ravi Rampaul in a one-day international win in Antigua last week. Ian Bell was called up to replace Root, while captain Stuart Broad is also a doubt with patella tendinitis - and his deputy Eoin Morgan has been struggling too with his own knee injury.

"I am really disappointed to be missing out on going to a World T20 with England," said Stokes. "It was a huge error in judgement following a frustrating tour for me and I deeply regret my behaviour. I would like to wish the team all the very best in Bangladesh."

Stokes' misdemeanour is not the first of his otherwise highly promising career. It is just 13 months since he was sent home, along with fellow all-rounder Matt Coles, from a Lions tour of Australia after England and Wales Cricket Board management staff lost patience with the pair's persistent late-night drinking.

Shortly before his Test debut in Adelaide last December, Stokes voiced his gratitude to then team director Andy Flower for giving him a "second chance" at an international career.

It has yet to be determined how quickly he will be able to recover. He is to undergo "further assessment" on his return home, with his domestic season for Durham to start in under a month.

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