England’s Ben Stokes comes out of ODI retirement ahead of Cricket World Cup

The star of England’s 2019 Cricket World Cup win was included in the ODI squad for a series against New Zealand, just over a month ahead of the ICC World Cup in India.

ben stokes
Stokes returns to the ODI format after quitting it 13 months ago [File: Aamir Qureshi/AFP]

Ben Stokes has reversed his decision to retire from one-day international (ODI) cricket ahead of England’s defence of their 50-over men’s World Cup title in India, the country’s cricket board says.

The England Test captain was included in the squad for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand, announced by national selector Luke Wright on Wednesday.

Stokes quit the ODI format 13 months ago due to a demanding workload as a multi-format player and 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 could now feature as a specialist batsman when England look to retain their title in India starting in October.

Stokes, 32, was Player of the Match in the 2019 World Cup final on home soil when he hit an unbeaten 84 as England beat New Zealand in a dramatic super over.

He also hit a match-winning, unbeaten 52 to lead England to the T20 World Cup title last year with victory over Pakistan in the final in Melbourne.

England are at home to New Zealand in four warm-up ODIs next month.

“The return of Ben Stokes only adds to that quality with his match-winning ability and leadership,” Wright said.

“I am certain that every fan will enjoy seeing him back in an England ODI shirt again.”

White-ball coach Matthew Mott had said earlier that Stokes would be welcomed back into the ODI squad with open arms.

Stokes has played 105 ODIs since his debut against Ireland in 2011, scoring 2,924 runs, including three centuries, at an average of 38.98 and a strike rate of 95. He also has 74 wickets and is one of the sharpest fielders in the side.

Source: News Agencies