For English cricket fans, the 2019 ODI World Cup ODI World Cup stands as a moment of great pride and achievement. It marked England’s inaugural victory in a tournament that had been introduced in 1975. This triumph was spearheaded by the inspirational Ben Stokes, whose outstanding performance played a pivotal role in securing a thrilling victory against New Zealand at Lord’s. His exceptional skills earned him the Player-of-the-Match award in the final, solidifying his status as a cricketing legend.

As the cricket world gears up for the upcoming ODI World Cup in India, England, the reigning T20 World Cup champions, receive a significant boost. Ben Stokes, having previously retired from ODI cricket in July of the preceding year to manage his workload, has made the decision to return from his retirement. This announcement comes less than two months before the marquee event. Stokes, who had maintained his involvement in Test and T20 cricket, expressed his desire to give the ODI World Cup another shot.

“It wasn’t really a case of changing his mind,” Wright’s Statement to ESPNcricinfo. “He was always interested in coming back. It wasn’t a case of needing to beg him or anything like that. Once his body was in a good place and he’d had a rest, he was really keen to play.”

The confirmation of Stokes’ comeback was established through his selection for the forthcoming four-match ODI series against New Zealand, which serves as a preparation phase leading up to the World Cup. Despite recent knee troubles limiting his bowling capabilities, Stokes is expected to contribute as a batter. While his exact role remains to be determined, Stokes’ value as a batsman is undeniable. His pivotal performances in critical matches, such as the 2019 World Cup final and the T20 World Cup final against Pakistan, have solidified his reputation as a clutch player.

“He’s coming to the World Cup and we’re going to pick him as a batter,” stated Wright. “We’re always assessing that as it goes, but we won’t be pushing him to bowl unless he’s absolutely fit and raring to go. There’s still going to be a period for him to try and get this knee right but it’s obviously not an easy one.”

Stokes’ return is timely, addressing the need for stability in England’s ODI middle-order. With established players like Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow returning after extended breaks, Stokes’ experience and maturity would be invaluable. While the team possesses potent batting firepower, his all-round prowess adds an extra dimension. In India, Stokes has demonstrated his capabilities in the 50-over format, boasting a promising record with the bat.

Beyond his statistics, it is Stokes’ commanding presence and resolute character that instills hope among England’s fans. His pivotal role in the previous two World Cups and his transformative impact on the Test team underscore his ability to rise to the occasion and deliver game-changing performances.

Undoubtedly, the ODI World Cup remains one of cricket’s most coveted prizes, and England’s prospects of securing consecutive titles receive a substantial boost with the return of their premier match-winner, Ben Stokes.

“If ever there’s someone for the big moments, it’s Ben Stokes,” statad Wright. “I think that’s what it is – it’s probably for him thinking it’s a last chance in the 50 overs to go and win it again. Who better for England to have someone like him come back for us? We’re all just so happy he’s back in the squad.”


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