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England Anticipates World Cup Boost with Stokes’ Return
- Updated: August 16, 2023
Reports suggest that Ben Stokes will make a comeback to one-day international cricket to represent England in this year’s 50-over World Cup.
Stokes retired from the longest white-ball format last summer, citing the demanding schedule as the captain of the Test team and the increasing prominence of franchise cricket. However, he continued to participate in Twenty20 matches and played a pivotal role in England’s World Cup victory in Australia last November.
Now, it appears that Stokes is poised to reverse his decision ahead of the World Cup in India, scheduled for October and November.
Stokes initially stepped away from ODIs last July to focus on longer-term goals and to extend his leadership role with the red-ball team.
Even though he battled a wrist injury, Stokes’ performance remained remarkable, including an unbeaten half-century that secured England’s victory over Pakistan in the IT20 World Cup.
White-ball head coach Matthew Mott expressed his interest in tempting Stokes back to 50-over cricket, a conversation that is being continued by ODI captain Jos Buttler.
“Jos will probably lead the way on that communication, but Ben’s pretty straight with all of us,” Mott stated. “We will see if he’s keen. There has not been a clear direction on what he’s going to do yet, but we are still hopeful.”
Stokes’ contribution as an all-rounder, particularly with the bat and in the field, has been invaluable. Despite an ongoing left knee issue, his potential return to ODI cricket has gained momentum, possibly even delaying a surgery decision.
With England’s upcoming ODIs against New Zealand and Ireland serving as a prelude to the World Cup warm-up, a provisional 18-man squad will be revealed soon. Many anticipate Stokes’ inclusion in the squad alongside Jofra Archer, a move endorsed by Mott, who emphasized the importance of accommodating proven performers for a successful World Cup campaign.
By – Sahiba Suri