Ben Stokes: Cricket World Cup omission ridiculous - Collingwood

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes last played for England's senior one-day side on 7 December against Sri Lanka in Colombo
Fourth unofficial ODI, Pretoria
England Lions 378-6 (50 overs) beat South Africa A 289 (42.5 overs) by 89 runs
Match scorecard (external site)

Ben Stokes has made the national selectors look "ridiculous" for leaving him out of the World Cup squad, says ex-England captain Paul Collingwood.

Stokes was dropped after struggling at number eight in Sri Lanka in December.

But moved up to five, the 23-year-old hit an unbeaten 151 off 86 balls for England Lions against South Africa A.

"What England did with him is like telling Cristiano Ronaldo to play at right-back," said Collingwood. "He could've won you the World Cup."

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, 29, was last month named world footballer of the year for the second year in a row.

Ronaldo is one of the world's most feared forwards
Ronaldo is one of the world's most feared forwards

Stokes was left out of England's World Cup party in December after managing only 22 runs in two innings in Sri Lanka.

However, he hit form in the Big Bash league, scoring 77 off 37 balls for Melbourne Renegades when batting at number three.

On Monday, facing an attack featuring four bowlers who have been capped by South Africa at one-day level, Stokes cracked 15 sixes, including nine from the last 15 legal deliveries he faced.

Durham captain Collingwood described his county team-mate's innings to BBC Radio 5 live Sport as "something special".

He added: "The thing that frustrates me is that England were batting him in the number eight position.

"You've got to play him in the right position - whether that be four, five or six - and allow him to win games from that position.

"You've got a guy here who - if he came good - he could've won you the World Cup. He could have won three or four games. By himself."

Stokes, who could yet be called up if an England player is injured, hit a century in only his second Test during England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash by Australia.

But he lost his place in the Test side in 2014 and has struggled to hold down a role in the one-day and Twenty20 teams.

Ben Stokes
Stokes averages 15.66 in 24 ODIs at a strike-rate of 75.80

"I didn't come here with a point to prove to anyone," he said. "I just came here to make my game better and I think it's worked.

"Every cricketer has his day and I think today was mine."

He added: "Things didn't go well in Sri Lanka, which had a big impact in World Cup selection, but I've been given a chance at five and hopefully, later down the line, I've proved I can get some runs up the order."

His century lifted England Lions to 378-6 from 50 overs in the fourth one-day match in Pretoria.

He then took 3-51 as the Lions bowled out the hosts for 289 for an 89-run win and an unassailable 3-0 series lead.

England's batting was patchy during the recent one-day tri-series against Australia and India.

Batsmen Moeen Ali, Joe Root plus all-rounders Ravi Bopara and Chris Woakes all averaged below 30 across the five matches.

The World Cup starts on 14 February, when England face co-hosts Australia in Melbourne.

Collingwood, who played a record 197 ODIs for England, is a member of the Scotland coaching staff.

England play Scotland on 22 February in Christchurch.

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