Ben Stokes out of tour game with abdominal issue

Ben Stokes has been withdrawn from England’s tour match in Sri Lanka due to an abdominal issue which team management insist is unrelated to Coronavirus concerns.

Stokes did not take up his usual place in the batting order on day one against a President’s XI in Colombo, replaced by Ollie Pope at number five, and will now play no part in the fixture.

He has been replaced by leg-spinner Matt Parkinson.

An England and Wales Cricket Board statement read: “England all-rounder Ben Stokes will not be at the ground today and is having abdominal investigations. Full reports are awaited from London. He will remain at the team hotel.

“To be clear, this is not a viral issue or linked to COVID-19.”

England resume on 354 for three after Zak Crawley’s century, with Joe Root 90 not out and Pope unbeaten on 84.

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