Broad defends Stokes’ absence

ENGLAND’S Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad defended his decision to omit all-rounder Ben Stokes from the team that lost by 13 runs to Australia in Hobart yesterday.

Australia put on 106 for the first wicket as they reached 213-4, but England could only post 200-9, despite an unbeaten knock of 65 off 27 balls from Ravi Bopara.

Stokes hit England’s sole century in the Test series whitewash and was man of the match in their only one-day international win against Australia, yet Broad insisted his absence was justified.

“Stokesy is a wonderful cricketer and will play a huge part in the next three months,” said Broad.

“But the top seven deserve their spots with the consistency and performances they’ve done for the last year to 18 months.”