Veteran England all-rounder Ben Stokes has said that they are one of the favourites to win as well as successfully defend their title in the 2023 World Cup. Stokes also shared that England holds an edge in terms of experience and depth, which he believes not many teams have as well. Notably, under Eoin Morgan, they lifted their first ODI World Cup by beating New Zealand at Lord’s.
Speaking to The Guardian, Stokes said, “I don’t think it’s arrogance to say we’re a very good team. We’re in the mix. And what we now have in our favour, I think, is experience of huge games – an edge against sides who don’t play as many. I know franchise T20 cricket means a lot more players have been exposed to those situations; it’s great for that. But it doesn’t come close to wearing your country’s shirt, billions watching, knowing if you lose, you’re out.”
With former Australia captain Tim Paine naming Stokes as selfish, the veteran suggested that he ground himself to the hilt during the Ashes and that the word doesn’t fit for him as well. However, Stokes played a key role in England’s 2019 World Cup win, hitting an unbeaten 84 in the final at Lord’s. He retired from the ODI format in 2022 but returned again against New Zealand recently as well.
“Selfish? I’d like to think I’ve played enough for people to know that is not a word that applies to me,” Ben Stokes said. “I had to see how I felt after the Ashes. And I was cooked, taking naps for days after it. But once I thought about the World Cup, potentially defending it, it was simple. It was good to tell Jos. He doesn’t give much away but he was buzzing.”
However, Ben Stokes also opined on the captaincy of Jos Buttler as he believes he has adopted many of Eoin Morgan’s values after succeeding him, but has also added his own authority as well.
“What Jos has done incredibly well is taking on everything of what Morgs did that he saw value in. But he has also really put his own stamp and personality on it. He wants to keep pushing the boundaries. Communicating with his bowlers from keeper is the big challenge but Moeen Ali is really good as his vice-captain here. They’re totally in sync. They’re both very free cricketers and two great men,” Ben Stokes concluded.