England’s top all-rounder, Ben Stokes, has decided to end his retirement and join the defending champions for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023. The tournament is planned for October-November in India. Unfortunately, this means he won’t be able to participate in the next season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
An article in the British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’ stated that Ben Stokes is ready to make a surprising reversal of his decision to retire from one day international cricket. He is open to returning to help England defend their World Cup title in India this year, even if it means not participating in the next season of the Indian Premier League. The report also mentioned that if white-ball captain Jos Buttler requests him to play, Stokes, who is also the England Test captain, seems willing to join the World Cup squad.
Stokes has opted out of the IPL due to the five-match away Test series against India. The series will begin around January 25 and conclude in March. Participating in the IPL, which usually ends in late May, would mean spending nearly five months in India, which might not be practical for him.
There are expectations that he will undergo a knee surgery at some point, and the IPL window seems to be the ideal opportunity, providing him with sufficient time for recuperation.
“While concerns persist regarding Stokes’s knee, which might necessitate a surgery eventually, information from Telegraph Sport indicates that he would be willing to skip the next IPL season if it meant having a gap in his schedule to aid his recovery.”
The defending champions will kick off their campaign against New Zealand, last edition’s finalists, in Ahmedabad on October 5, and Stokes’ inclusion will significantly bolster their prospects.
Before retiring from the format last year, Stokes had participated in 105 ODIs. In the previous edition, held in England, he was named the Player of the Final.
The article also indicated that if necessary, Stokes could function as a specialist middle-order batsman.
“Stokes is expected to assume a middle-order batting position for the England ODI team. Due to concerns about his bowling capacity, England are ready to select him primarily as a batsman, mirroring the role he took on during certain parts of the Ashes series earlier this year,” the report mentioned.
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