Ben Stokes comes out of ODI retirement ahead of ICC ODI World Cup 2023; hints leading England for white-ball tournament

The cricket realm in England is abuzz with excitement as Ben Stokes, the acclaimed Test captain and a pivotal figure in England’s triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign, has executed a surprising about-face. He has chosen to reverse his decision to retire from 50-over cricket, aiming to contribute to England’s defense of their title in India this autumn. Known for his heroic performances on the field, Stokes is poised to make his reentry into the men’s ODI squad in the upcoming series against New Zealand.

In the previous year, the 32-year-old Stokes had voluntarily withdrawn from the 50-over format, citing concerns about effectively managing commitments across all three formats of the game. He underlined his unwavering dedication to the England shirt, emphasizing that donning it warranted nothing less than an absolute commitment of 100%. However, despite his withdrawal from the limited-overs format, his unmatched capacity to thrive under pressure remains an attribute that England’s white-ball team found difficult to forgo.

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Stokes’ instrumental role in the climactic encounters of both the 50-over World Cup in 2019 and the T20 World Cup in Melbourne last November underscored his indispensability to the team’s success. The unyielding efforts of Jos Buttler, the captain, and Matthew Mott, the white-ball coach, to convince Stokes to reconsider his decision illustrated their recognition of his pivotal role in high-stakes matches.

The England management has now included Stokes in the 15-player squad, which they intend to carry to India in October for the ICC World Cup. This squad, featuring nine members from the victorious 2019 World Cup campaign, sets the stage for an enthralling rematch against New Zealand, the opponents in the unforgettable final at Lord’s in 2019.

While the final selection for the World Cup squad is not mandatory until September 5, Stokes is among the players retained from the 2019 roster. Another survivor from the triumphant campaign is Jonny Bairstow, who has returned after an injury-induced hiatus.

Luke Wright, England’s National Selector, commented on the depth of talent within the white-ball cricket setup and the excitement surrounding Stokes’ reentry. He emphasized the upcoming series against New Zealand, a renowned competitive team, as an opportunity for England to assess their readiness against the world’s best.

England ODI squad: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes

England T20I squad: Jos Buttler (c) Rehan Ahmed, Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Will Jacks, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Josh Tongue, John Turner, Luke Wood