Ben Stokes to come out of retirement for ODI World Cup (2023)

Ben Stokes is to come out of ODI retirement and make himself available for England ahead of October's Cricket World Cup.

Stokes retired from the one-day format last year as he shifted his focus to captaining the Test team but he will now be available for the World Cup, as England look to defend their 50-over title.

He was named player of the match in the 2019 final as England defeated New Zealand in a dramatic super over. Stokes also scored a match-winning 52 not out when England won last year's T20 World Cup, beating Pakistan in the final.

Ben Stokes to come out of retirement for ODI World Cup (1)

The Test captain's decision to play the 50-over format means he will not be able to have surgery on the left knee that has troubled him all year until a later date. Stokes would play in the World Cup as a specialist batter and won't bowl.

Squads for the tournament in India need to be submitted by September 5, with the England selectors set to meet on Tuesday. Changes can be made until September 27.


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England name their squad for their limited-overs fixture with New Zealand and Ireland on Wednesday, August 16. They play the Black Caps in four T20Is and four ODIs before a three-match ODI series against Ireland to round of the summer - all matches exclusively live on Sky Sports.

Stokes U-turn on ODI retirement decision

As recently as June 26, Stokes told reporters, when asked whether he could play at this autumn's World Cup: "I remain retired from the ODIs and will not reverse it."

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He added: "[My knee] is something I want to get sorted. [Between the Ashes and India] is a good time to have some serious in-depth conversations about what is potentially something I could do where I can bowl without worrying about my knee."

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Ben Stokes to come out of retirement for ODI World Cup (2)

When announcing his ODI retirement in July of 2022, Stokes blamed an "unsustainable" cricketing schedule, hoping the moved could prolong his career in the Test and T20 international formats.

Speaking to Sky Sports Cricket's Nasser Hussain, the all-rounder said: "I think the schedule and everything that is expected of us these days, for me personally at the moment, it feels unsustainable.

"We're not cars where you can just fill us up with petrol or diesel and then let us go. It does have this effect on you, the amount of playing and travelling we do - it all adds up.

"The schedule at the moment is all very jam-packed. It's asking a lot of the players to keep putting in 100 per cent of their efforts every time they walk out on the field for their country."

'Stokes return a no-brainer' | 'Another chance to write history'

Sky Sports cricket pundit Mark Butcher:

"Why wouldn't [head coach] Matthew Mott and [captain] Jos Buttler want a man who has been player of the match in two successful World Cup finals to join their defence in India this October? It's a complete no-brainer really.

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Ben Stokes to come out of retirement for ODI World Cup (3)

"Only he will know [if it's the right decision]. The knee injury which has dogged him for well over a year is going to need surgery at some point and until they get in there and discover exactly what the problems are he and we won't know how long the lay-off might be.

"But there's also the tantalising prospect of another World Cup. And he'll back himself and his fitness that whatever they have to do to him surgery-wise, post World Cup - hopefully after the final - then he'll have enough time to be ready to captain England on the tour of India early in the following year."

England Test batter Ollie Pope:

"Ben Stokes is someone who loves playing for England. And he is a player that any England team is lucky to have in the side.

"Obviously he has got his knee [injury], there is no secret he has been trying to manage that, but it's great for him that he feels like he's in a place where he can have a big contribution in a tournament like the World Cup. And with the way the schedule has gone, there's no Test cricket till the end of January, so it does give him a good chance to recover.

"It's great for everybody and fingers crossed, if all of these rumours are true, he's going to have an amazing tournament. For him, it's another opportunity to write history in the game… he can contribute to hopefully another England team winning the World Cup."

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Ben Stokes to come out of retirement for ODI World Cup (4)

Who could miss out with Stokes' World Cup return?

Sky Sports cricket writer David Currie:

"Stokes' ODI U-turn comes the start of England's 50-over World Cup defence little over than seven weeks away, where they will kick things off against New Zealand on October 5 in a repeat of that unforgettable final from four years ago.

"Stokes almost single-handedly dragged them over the line on that memorable day at Lord's, scoring 84 not out before returning to add some crucial super over runs. It's with the bat that it looks like Stokes' role will be limited to this time round - the all-rounder still plagued by that injury to his left knee that limited him to bowling just 29 overs this summer.

Ben Stokes to come out of retirement for ODI World Cup (5)

"England's top order looks pretty settled in theory, with a likely top six of Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Harry Brook and Liam Livingstone. But there's no question they will find a way to squeeze Stokes in.

"Most vulnerable perhaps is Brook who, despite his considerable success at Test level, has only been capped three times so far in ODIs and struggled during England's T20 World Cup win last autumn, tallying 56 runs in his five innings.

"Or could Stokes be an option to open the batting? Roy was axed for that T20 World Cup after a lean run in the shortest format, albeit he notched two centuries in his return to the set-up in the 50-over format last winter.

"As for whose spot in the squad Stokes likely claims, Phil Salt and Dawid Malan might be sitting uncomfortably, hoping to avoid the same fate suffered by David Willey when dropped for Jofra Archer on the eve of the 2019 World Cup. Malan has struck four hundreds in his last 12 ODI innings, so could feel particularly aggrieved to get the axe, while Salt had a comparatively quieter run over the winter with a top score of 35 from five ODI innings."

Watch the ICC Men's 50-over World Cup live on Sky Sports throughout October and November.

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