Sunday, 1 October, 2023

England's Stokes ends ODI retirement ahead of Cricket World Cup

Ben Stokes has reversed his decision to retire from one-day internationals ahead of England's defence of their 50-over men's World Cup title in India.

Test captain Stokes quit the ODI format 13 months ago due to a demanding workload as a multi-format player and amid concerns about a chronic left knee injury.

That fitness issue meant the all-rounder did not bowl at all during the last three Tests of the recently concluded drawn Ashes series at home to Australia.

But Stokes, one of the stars of England's 2019 World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord's, could now feature as a specialist batsman when England look to retain their title in India starting in October.

England are at home to New Zealand in four warm-up ODIS next month, with Stokes included Wednesday in a 15-man squad that could well resemble the touring party selected for the World Cup.

England men's national selector Luke Wright said: "Any series against New Zealand is closely fought and will provide us with an ideal opportunity to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the world.

"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."