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Former England one-day captain Paul Collingwood says the decision to leave Ben Stokes out of the World Cup squad is “ridiculous”.
Stokes is in excellent form with the bat, having just come off the back of a quick yet successful stint in the Big Bash League with the Melbourne Renegades.
The 23-year-old smashed an unbeaten 151 off 86 balls for England Lions against South Africa A in Pretoria on Monday, but has not played for England since being dropped following the disastrous tour of Sri Lanka in December.
Stokes was pushed back to number eight in that series, and Collingwood likened the decision to “playing Cristiano Ronaldo at right-back.”
“The thing that frustrates me is that England were batting him in the number eight position,” Collingwood told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“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.”
England are hardly in incredible form at present, having won just two of their five matches in the ODI Tri-Series, and Stokes could certainly have helped England chase down big totals.
England face co-hosts Australia in its opening game of the tournament at the MCG on February 14.