England’s Ben Stokes takes back retirement ahead of World Cup

He is a key player for the defending champions

By Web Desk
August 16, 2023
Ben Stokes was included in the squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand - AFP

Flamboyant England all-rounder Ben Stokes reversed his decision to retire from one-day internationals (ODI), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday.

The left-handed batter was included in the squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

Stokes brought the curtain down on his ODI career last July, two months after being named England's Test captain.

The decision to take back his retirement also means that Stokes will also be available for England’s 50-overs Cricket World Cup title defence in October and November.

"This is the squad we are going to put forward,” England Men’s National Selector, Luke Wright, said.

"It's incredibly hard on some players that are going to miss out. It shows the strength and depth we have in English Cricket and there are other names who are knocking on the door as well.

"With the balance of the squad, and with only fifteen that you can name it's incredibly tough.

“The return of Ben Stokes only adds to that quality with his match-winning ability and leadership. I am certain that every fan will enjoy seeing him back in an England ODI shirt again.”

The 32-year-old was the Player of the Match in the 2019 World Cup final on home soil, when he smashed an unbeaten 84 as England defeated New Zealand in a dramatic super over.

He also played match-winning knock of 52 not out to lead England to the Twenty20 World Cup title last year, with victory over Pakistan in the final in Melbourne.

However, Stokes' chronic left knee injury, which flared up this year, could be a concern for England. He did not bowl in the last three Ashes Tests in July as England came back from behind to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Australia to level the series 2-2.