Star all-rounder Ben Stokes has made a significant decision by reversing his retirement from One Day International (ODI) cricket. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced his inclusion in the ODI squad for the upcoming series against New Zealand, marking his return to the 50-over format. Stokes had announced his retirement from ODIs in July last year to manage his workload, particularly after being named the Test captain.
England’s National Selector, Luke Wright, expressed his admiration for Stokes, highlighting his match-winning abilities and leadership that will undoubtedly enhance the team’s quality.
“The return of Ben Stokes only adds to that quality with his match-winning ability and leadership. I am certain that every fan will enjoy seeing him back in an England ODI shirt again,” Luke Wright stated in a released statement.
The forthcoming four-match ODI series against New Zealand will serve as valuable preparation for Jos Buttler and his team ahead of the highly anticipated ICC ODI World Cup scheduled for October-November.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) August 16, 2023
Stokes played pivotal roles in England’s triumphs in the 2019 ODI World Cup and the 2022 T20 World Cup. His memorable performances, including an 84-run knock in the 2019 World Cup final against New Zealand and a crucial 52-run contribution in the 2022 T20 World Cup final against Pakistan, have solidified his reputation as a match-winner.
Although fitness issues recently prevented Stokes from bowling during the last three Tests of the Ashes series against Australia, his return to the ODI format presents an opportunity for him to contribute as a specialist batsman. This move comes as England prepares to defend their title in the ODI World Cup set to take place in India from October onwards.
England ODI squad for New Zealand series:
Jos Buttler (C), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes