England Test captain and the world’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes is all set to come out of retirement and play the ODI World Cup in India even if it comes at the cost of missing a season of IPL (Indian Premier League), according to British daily The Telegraph.
According to the report, “Ben Stokes is prepared to make a sensational U-Turn and reverse his One-Day International retirement to help England’s World Cup defence in India this year, even if it means missing out on next season’s Indian Premier League. The England Test captain now appears willing to play World Cup if he is asked by white-ball captain Jos Buttler,” the paper reported.
The reason why Stokes could give his Rs. 16 crore annual IPL deal with CSK a miss, is the five-Test series against India that will start on January 25 and end on March 11.
If Stokes plays two months of IPL till the end of May, then he would be spending close to five months in India, which might not be feasible for him.
At some point, he is expected to undergo a knee surgery and the IPL window seems the best time considering he can return to competitive cricket and continue leading England in years to come.
“While concern lingers over Stokes’ knee which might require operation at some stage, Telegraph Sport understands that he would be prepared to miss next season’s IPL if he needed a gap in his schedule to help him recover.”
England starts its campaign on October 5 in Ahmedabad against New Zealand and the 32-year-old Stokes, who has played 105 ODIs for his country before retiring from the format last year, might just come out for one tournament to help Buttler’s side regain the trophy it won in 2019. Stokes was Player of the Final in the last edition at home.
The report also states that if need be, Stokes will play as a specialist batter in the middle order.
“Stokes is likely to bat in the middle order for England ODI side. Amid fears of how much bowling he could do, England are prepared to pick him as specialist batsman, replicating the role he performed at stages during this summer’s Ashes series,” the report stated.
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