England’s renowned all-rounder, Ben Stokes, is on the verge of reversing his decision to retire from One Day Internationals (ODIs) and is expected to rejoin the national team for the ICC World Cup 2023. The prestigious tournament is scheduled to take place in India from October to November this year. However, this decision might come at the cost of him missing the next season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
According to a report in the British daily ‘The Telegraph’, Ben Stokes is inclined to make a sensational U-turn in his one-day international retirement in order to contribute to England’s World Cup defense in India. The report suggests that despite potentially forgoing the IPL, Stokes is prepared to commit to the World Cup campaign if approached by white-ball captain Jos Buttler.
Stokes’ choice to skip the IPL is primarily influenced by the upcoming five-match Test series against India, scheduled to commence on January 25 and conclude in March. Given the timeline of the IPL, which typically ends in late May, participating in the league would entail an extended stay of nearly five months in India. Considering the commitments ahead, this might not be a viable option for him.
Moreover, Stokes is reportedly considering a knee surgery at some point, and the IPL window could offer an opportune gap for the procedure, allowing him ample time for recovery. The Telegraph’s report suggests that if Stokes requires a schedule break for medical purposes, he would be prepared to miss the next IPL season.
England’s World Cup journey is set to begin with a clash against the previous edition’s finalist, New Zealand, in Ahmedabad on October 5. Stokes’ potential return would undoubtedly provide a significant boost to the defending champions.
Having participated in 105 ODIs before his retirement from the format last year, Stokes’ presence in the team during the last World Cup played in England was instrumental. He was honored as the Player of the Final in that edition.
The report also sheds light on Stokes potentially assuming the role of a specialist batter in the middle order. Given concerns about his bowling workload, England is considering utilizing him primarily as a specialist batsman, similar to his role during certain stages of the Ashes series earlier this summer.
As the cricket world awaits confirmation of Ben Stokes’ decision and his possible comeback to the ODI format, fans and experts alike are eagerly anticipating the outcome of his deliberations and its impact on England’s World Cup campaign.