England in Pakistan 2022-23 – Ben Stokes leaves door open for possible U-turn on ODI retirement

Ben Stokes has left the door open for a possible U-turn on his one-day retirement for England’s 50-over World Cup defense next winter.

The all-rounder, who is currently in Pakistan captaining the Test side on their first tour of the country in 17 years, retired from one-day cricket in the summer to focus on the other two international formats. In doing so, he said it was “unsustainable” to manage his workload in a complicated schedule, urging the organizers to get a firm grip on the fixture list so that other multi-format cricketers take the same decision. can be prevented.

However, after England won the T20 World Cup in Australia earlier this month, in which Stokes played a key role with 52 not out – his first half-century in the format – to lead his side to victory in the final against Pakistan. For , limited-overs coach Matthew Mott hinted at Stokes’ decision to go back. “When he spoke to me about his ODI retirement, the first thing I said was that I support whatever decision he makes, but I told him that he doesn’t necessarily have to retire. , he just can’t play 50 overs. For a while,” Mott said.

Coming into the tournament, Stokes had not played a T20I since March 2021, and given how the 31-year-old has performed – 110 runs at 36.66 and six wickets – the consensus is that he will The former may play a similar peripheral role. The 2023 50-over World Cup in India, particularly the ODIs, is perhaps his best format, with averages of 38.98 and 42.39 (and 74 dismissals) with bat and ball respectively.

Speaking ahead of the first Test against Pakistan, Stokes revealed that director of men’s cricket Rob Kay had pitched him the idea of ​​a return to ODIs during a training camp in Abu Dhabi last week. While out that time, the 2019 finalist stopped short of ruling himself out of contention.

“Casey took me to the UAE and as soon as he said ’50-over World Cup’ I left,” Stokes said.

“Who knows? At the moment, being out here, I’m just focused on this series (against Pakistan). But it’s one of those things. But who knows if I’m ready for the World Cup at the moment. How can I feel? It’s an amazing thing to represent your country in the Cup. But right now I’m not even thinking about it.”

At the time of writing, Stokes faces a tough 2023. Pakistan’s three Tests will lead into the New Year before a two-Test tour of New Zealand in February. He will then head to the Indian Premier League, putting himself forward for the draft on December 16. at the end of July. There are also four T20 matches against New Zealand at the end of the home season.

Should he persevere in his ODI retirement, he will make his splash during the World Cup starting in October before a five-match series in the Caribbean in December. If he has a change of heart, there will be six ODIs in the summer, split evenly between New Zealand and Ireland, to return to the 50-over group.

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