England all-rounder, Ben Stokes, is expected to come out of retirement for a one-day side to help his country prepare for their World Cup defence. The 32-year-old, who would confirm his break from retirement on Wednesday. has been listed in the 15-man squad for the forthcoming four-match series against New Zealand in September.
Previously, the talented all-rounder had stepped back from one-day internationals, citing the unsustainable demands of playing across three formats. Despite this decision, he continued to lead the England Test team and contribute to T20 internationals. His exceptional performance during England’s victory in the T20 World Cup in Australia further solidified his reputation.
This squad will predominantly form the foundation for England’s participation in the World Cup in India scheduled for October and November. Notably, Stokes was the man of the match during the pivotal final of the 2019 World Cup, when England clinched the title for the first time.
Stokes’ change of heart appears to be linked to the overture of England’s white-ball coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler. Although he initially reiterated his retirement stance in July, recent reports suggest that he is reconsidering the prospect of participating in the 50-over World Cup.
Due to a peculiar schedule alignment, England faces no Test matches until their tour of India for a series scheduled between January and March of the coming year. This window was intended for Stokes to address a persistent left-knee issue that has impeded his bowling capabilities. Consequently, his role in the World Cup is likely to be more focused on his batting expertise.
England is set to unveil the roster for the New Zealand ODIs, set from 8 to Sept. 15, at 10:00 BST on Wednesday. Additionally, they will announce a formidable 15-man squad for the four T20 matches against the Black Caps, commencing on Aug. 30.
After the New Zealand series, a three-match ODI series against Ireland awaits England at the end of September. However, the proximity of this series to the World Cup’s start on Oct. 5 means that most key players will be rested.
As the World Cup kicks off, England will face New Zealand in the opening match, reviving memories of their 2019 final showdown.
Amidst these developments, there’s also the possibility of Jofra Archer’s return to the fold. His fitness status has been scrutinized since his instrumental role in England’s thrilling final victory four years ago. The forthcoming World Cup squad is expected to retain a familiar core, potentially featuring nine members from the triumphant 2019 campaign on home soil.