Ben Stokes – England all-rounder does not rule out ODI World Cup return

Ben Stokes - England all-rounder does not rule out ODI World Cup return, Cricket, sport

Ben Stokes has not ruled out the possibility of coming out of one-day international retirement to play at the World Cup in India next year.

The England Test captain, 31, retired from ODIs in July, citing pressure on his workload.

He starred in England’s 2019 World Cup final win and did the same again when they were crowned T20 champions in Australia earlier this month.

“Who knows how I might feel towards a World Cup at the time,” he said.

The next 50-over World Cup is in India in October and November 2023.

Stokes is currently leading England in their Test series in Pakistan. He was one of the players that missed training on Wednesday as illness affected the England camp.

A decision on whether the first Test will go ahead as scheduled will be taken at 02:30 GMT on Thursday (07:30 local time).

Speaking before he fell ill, Stokes revealed he was approached by director of cricket Rob Key in the aftermath of the T20 success about a return for the 50-over World Cup.

“He pulled me to the side and as soon as he said ’50-over World Cup’ I just walked away,” said Stokes.

“Who knows? At the moment, being out here, my focus is solely on this series.

“Going to a World Cup is an amazing thing to do, to represent your country. But at the moment I’m not even thinking about that.”

When Stokes retired from ODIs during the home summer, he said it should serve as a warning to authorities over the amount of cricket multi-format internationals are expected to play.

“There is too much cricket rammed in for people to play all three formats now,” he said in July.

“We are not cars, you can’t just fill us up and we’ll go out there and be ready to be fuelled up again.”

At the time he also dismissed the suggestion he would come back to play at the World Cup.

“It wouldn’t be fair on anyone who gets that opportunity with me not playing this format now to all of a sudden be like, ‘Yeah, I’ll come back’,” he said.

If Stokes does not play in the World Cup, his schedule in 2023 would be loaded to the front half of the year.

England play two Tests in New Zealand in February, then he could feature in the Indian Premier League in the spring.

All of England’s home Tests, including the Ashes, are completed by the end of July and their next series, away in India, is not until early 2024.

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