England's World Cup defense gets a big boost from Ben Stokes' ODI return

Inspirational Test captain's decision to reverse ODI retirement will boost England's batting power in India. England's World Cup defense
By: G11
CHANDIGARH, India - Aug. 17, 2023 - PRLog -- For English cricket fans, the 2019 ODI World Cup will probably be their most memorable moment in the game. It was the first time since the country's debut in 1975 that England had won a tournament. At the center of that great campaign was the inspirational Ben Stokes.

The all-rounder led England to a thrilling victory over New Zealand at Lord's, won the Player of the Match award in the final, and established himself as one of the greats of the game.

Stokes decided to retire from ODIs at the age of 50 and return to management

Four years later, England, who are also the T20 World Cup holders, could not have asked for a bigger boost as they prepare to defend their ODI title in India. With less than two months to go before the start of the prestigious competition, Stokes, who led the Test side to a sensational return to the Ashes, has decided to retire from ODIs and return to management at the age of 50. over format in July last year. Especially due to pain in knees, I had to stop doing much work.

Stokes' decision to return was confirmed after he was selected for the upcoming four-match ODI series against New Zealand in preparation for the World Cup.

Deciding to continue playing Tests and T20Is, the 32-year-old Stokes said last year that playing all three formats was "unsustainable" for him. On Wednesday, England men's national selector Luke Wright said he was always keen to give the ODI World Cup another chance.

"It wasn't really a case of changing his mind," Wright was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. "He was always interested in coming back. It wasn't a case of needing to beg him or anything like that. Once his body was in a good place and he'd had a rest, he was really keen to play."

How involved Stokes can be as an all-rounder remains to be seen. He was unable to bowl in the last three Tests due to a knee problem, and England drew the thrilling series 0–2. Wright said that Stokes is likely to be used only as a batsman.

He's coming to the World Cup, pick him as a batter," said Wright

"He's coming to the World Cup and we're going to pick him as a batter," said Wright. "We're always assessing that as it goes, but we won't be pushing him to bowl unless he's absolutely fit and raring to go. There's still going to be a period for him to try and get this knee right but it's obviously not an easy one."

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