Ben Stokes set to take U-turn on ODI retirement to play 2023 World Cup

England’s premier all-rounder Ben Stokes is all set to come out of retirement and represent the defending champions at the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023, which is scheduled to be played in India during October-November. However, this will come at the cost of him missing the next season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

A report in British daily ‘The Telegraph’ read: “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 report further stated.

The reason for Stokes to skip the IPL is the five-match away Test series against India, which will start towards the end of January 25 and end on March.

If Stokes plays in the IPL, which usually ends towards the end of May, the all-rounder will spend almost five months in India, which might not be feasible for him.

He is expected to undergo a knee surgery at some point and the IPL window appears as the perfect gap, leaving him with ample time for recovery.

“While concern lingers over Stokes’s 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.”

The defending champions get their campaign underway against previous edition finalist New Zealand in Ahmedabad on October 5 and Stokes’ addition will give them a major boost.

Stokes had made 105 ODI appearances before retiring from the format last year. The all-rounder was Player of the Final in the last edition, which was played in England.

The report also mentioned if required, Stokes will operate 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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