'Can you go and sit on bench because I want to play now?' - Tim Paine criticizes Ben Stokes' U-turn on ODI retirement
England received a huge boost ahead of their 50-over World Cup campaign as Ben Stokes came out of ODI retirement to play in the marquee event.
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Ben Stokes played a massive role in helping England win ODI World Cup in 2019. In fact, his heroics in the final, 84* off 98 balls against New Zealand, earned the Southpaw the Player of the Match award. In 2022, Stokes decided to retire from the 50-over format. However, earlier this week, the talismanic cricketer decided to come out of retirement to help England in defending the World Cup title in India in October-November.
While the news of Stokes' return has delighted English fans, former Australian captain Tim Paine has come out with a scathing attack on England's red-ball captain as he felt that the U-turn deprived a cricketer the chance to play in the World Cup after being with the squad for the past 12 months.
"Ben Stokes coming out of one day retirement, I found that interesting. It was a bit of, 'Me, me, me', there isn't it? It was like 'I'll pick and I'll choose where I want to play and when I want to play', and, 'I'll play in the big tournaments'. The guys who played for 12 months, 'Sorry, thanks. But can you go and sit on the bench because I want to play now?'" Paine said on SEN Radio.
Harry Brook or Ben Stokes? As a bat. It would be very close: Tim Paine
Young and talented England cricketer Harry Brook impressed in his only ODI series against South Africa earlier this year. He scored a brilliant 80 in the second ODI off 75 balls. However, he missed out on the selection of the squad for the upcoming New Zealand series, which is also England's provisional side for the World Cup. The selectors went with Stokes but Paine felt that because the veteran has had a knee problem and might play the 10-team tournament only as a batter, selecting him over Brook must have been a very difficult decision to make.
"I don't know, he's not bowling. Harry Brook or Ben Stokes? As a bat. It would be very close, very, very close," Paine said.