Stokes missed the T20I series against India to rest after captaining England to four consecutive Test victories against New Zealand and India at the start of the summer. With three more against South Africa beginning in the middle of August, the decision has been taken to manage his workload, which also means missing the second edition of the Hundred for Northern Superchargers.
Stokes’ last short-form outing was for Superchargers on July 26, 2021, before he took a break from all cricket last summer. He opted out of the 2022 Indian Premier League and so will head into this winter’s T20 World Cup in Australia with minimal short-form prep. He is unlikely to play a full part in the seven T20Is in Pakistan that precede the tournament. Given the desire of white-ball coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler to establish the right balance of personnel ahead of time, it is a far from ideal situation, even if necessary to cope with a far from ideal schedule.
Potts, 23, has just 10 List A appearances to his name, with 16 dismissals at 23.37 and an economy rate of 5.84. His only appearance in the format in the last two years came in Durham’s Royal London Cup final against Glamorgan last season. He took 3 for 55 as his side were beaten by 58 runs.
The first match of the white-ball programme against South Africa is on Tuesday at Chester-le-Street, Durham, two days after the third and final ODI with India on Sunday at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. That series is currently all square at one-all.