Will retired Ben Stokes return to ODI cricket? He answers
England all-rounder Ben Stokes retired from One-Day Internationals in July this year. The 31-year-old played his last ODI against South Africa in Durham. Ahead of England's ongoing first Test in Pakistan, red-ball captain Stokes indicated that the impending 50-over World Cup might entice him to return. Notably, Stokes helped England win their maiden 50-over World Cup in 2019.
Why does this story matter?
- Stokes called time on his ODI career as playing all three formats was "unsustainable" for him.
- The England all-rounder featured in a handful of ODIs since the 2019 World Cup concluded.
- In the summer of 2021, Stokes took a break from cricket to focus on his mental health. He had stated his body was "letting him down".
- However, speculations of Stokes' comeback have begun.
Who knows how I might feel toward a WC: Stokes
Stokes clarified that Rob Key, England's director of men's cricket, urged Stokes to return to ODIs during the training camp in Abu Dhabi last week. "Being out here, my focus is on this series. But it's one of those things. Who knows how I might feel toward a World Cup at the time. At the moment, I'm not even thinking about that," said Stokes.
Stokes shone in the 2019 WC final
Stokes was the chief architect of England's historic World Cup win in 2019. He slammed an unbeaten 84 in a crucial run-chase against New Zealand in the final. Later, he was pivotal for England in what turned out to be a Super Over for the ages. Stokes was adjudged the Player of the Match for his match-winning hand.
How did he fare in ODIs?
Stokes made his ODI debut in August 2011 against Ireland in Dublin. In a career that spanned over a decade, the stylish all-rounder went on to feature in 105 ODIs. He slammed 2,924 runs at a decent average of 38.98. The tally includes three tons and 21 half-centuries. Stokes also has 74 ODI wickets to his name (one five-wicket haul).
Stokes powered England to T20 World Cup title
Stokes gained redemption after Carlos Brathwaite struck him for four consecutive sixes in the 2016 T20 World Cup final, which cost England the title. Six years later, he bailed England out after they were in a spot of bother in the tournament final against Pakistan. He slammed his maiden T20I fifty (52) as England chased 138 to win their second T20 WC title.
World Cup: Stokes averages 51 in India (ODIs)
The 2023 ICC 50-over World Cup will be held in India. Stokes, who starred in England's 2019 win, could play a pivotal role if he takes a U-turn on ODI retirement. Notably, the all-rounder averages 51.00 with the bat in six ODIs in the nation. Stokes owns a strike rate of 138.58 in India. He has also taken nine ODI wickets in the country.
What next for Stokes?
After leading England in the three-Test series, Stokes will embark on the New Zealand Test tour with England (in February). He will then shift his focus to the Indian Premier League (IPL) having already put his name in the auction. Stokes will lead England in the four-day Test against Ireland and the high-profile Ashes. England will also play four T20Is against New Zealand.