Door open for Ben Stokes to come out of ODI retirement for World Cup: England coach Matthew Mott

"We need to keep a really flexible, open mind to players and when we sit down to pick that 15 for the World Cup, we want to pick the best players possible," Mott said.

Ben Stokes
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Ben Stokes (Photo Source: Twitter)

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England white-ball coach Matthew Mott has expressed his thoughts on star all-rounder Ben Stokes' return to the ODI setup, saying that the door is "always open" if he wishes to make a comeback. Notably, Stokes announced his ODI retirement in July last year citing the physical and mental demands of playing all three formats.

Stokes, who is currently England's red-ball captain, played 105 ODIs for the team, scoring 2924 runs at an average and strike rate of 38.98 and 95.08 respectively, including three centuries and 21 half-centuries. He also picked 74 wickets at an economy rate of 6.09, including a five-wicket haul. Interestingly, the all-rounder also played a historic innings in the thrilling final of the 2019 ODI World Cup against the Kiwis, which England ended up winning.

“The door is always open for a player of that quality but we are also very aware that his main focus is red-ball cricket as the captain,” the 49-year-old said while speaking to reporters ahead of England’s three-match ODI series against South Africa, starting from January 27.

Mott stated that Stokes is one of England's best all-rounders and having a player of his caliber back in the squad would be more than anything England would want, especially with the ODI World Cup scheduled to be played in India later in 2023. England are currently the defending champions and Mott emphasised that they would do anyhting to defend their title.

However, Mott made an important point regarding Stokes' comeback, stating it is important for the English management to respect his state of mind and health. Notably, Stokes had taken an indefinite break from cricket due to mental health reason in 2021.

"We respect that and when he's ready to chat, we'll do that. We need to keep a really flexible, open mind to players and when we sit down to pick that 15 for the World Cup, we want to pick the best players possible," he concluded.

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