'The Big man is back' - Ben Stokes breaks the internet as he returns to England ODI squad ahead of World Cup 2023
Ben Stokes announced his retirement from the 50-over format in July 2022 and played his last game in front of his home crowd in Chester-le-Street.
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After much speculation, England’s biggest match winner of the 21st century, Ben Stokes, has finally made a U-turn on his ODI retirement decision and made a comeback in the England ODI side. The England and Wales Cricket Board announced the exciting news on Wednesday, August 16 as they revealed the squads for England’s upcoming white-ball series against New Zealand.
Notably, England will lock horns with New Zealand in a four-match T20I and ODI series starting from August 30. Stokes has been picked up for the ODI leg of the tour to get some much-needed match practice for the ODI World Cup 2023 beginning from October 05.
The 32-year-old announced his retirement from the 50-over format in July 2022 and played his last game in front of his home crowd in Chester-le-Street against South Africa. However, with the World Cup 2023 approaching, there were widespread reports of Stokes coming out his retirement to help England in their title defence in India.
And much to the delight of England fans, the all-rounder has made a return to the ODI squad and is all set to participate in the World Cup. However, the southpaw has been nursing a knee injury since IPL 2023 which limited his ability to bowl long spells. During the Ashes 2023, Stokes could only bowl 29 overs across five Tests and hence is likely to play only as a specialist batter in the World Cup.
Lol— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) August 16, 2023
Stokes was the Player of the Match in the 2019 World Cup final
The Christchurch-born cricketer played a major role in England’s 2019 World Cup triumph with his valiant knock of 84* (98) in the final against New Zealand. Stokes was England’s lone warrior as he batted with the tail and helped them tie the scores after 50 overs. He further scored eight runs off three balls in the super over to help his team score 15 runs. The score proved to be good enough for England as New Zealand could only manage to tie once again and the Three Lions were awarded the trophy on ‘boundary count.’
Come the 2023 World Cup, Stokes will be expected to play a similar role for his side as they look to defend their title on Indian soil. The Jos Buttler-led side will play the curtain raiser of the tournament against New Zealand on October 05 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, X was abuzz with reactions on Stokes' sudden return.
Here are some of the Tweets:
The big man is back 🔥— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 16, 2023
Luke Wright on the sensational return of Ben Stokes to ODI cricket... 👇
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨— England's Barmy Army 🏴🎺 (@TheBarmyArmy) August 16, 2023
Ben Stokes is returning to the England Men's ODI team ahead of the World Cup. IT'S OFFICIAL 😍
Playing New Zealand with a World Cup ahead?— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) August 16, 2023
Ben Stokes: pic.twitter.com/qyBunObZVu
England more strong as Ben Stokes back in ODIs— Abdul Ghaffar 🇵🇰 (@GhaffarDawnNews) August 16, 2023
So Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu are the players who have overturned their decision about retirement in recent years and they all have one thing in common pic.twitter.com/yi7frJUyr8— Yash (@CSKYash_) August 16, 2023
As expected Ben Stokes is back for the ODI World Cup 😂 pic.twitter.com/4cU7FTdO4q— R A T N I S H (@LoyalSachinFan) August 16, 2023
•18th July 2022 - Ben Stokes retired from ODIs.— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) August 16, 2023
•16th August 2023 - Ben Stokes comes out of ODI retirement.
Welcome back to ODI Cricket, Ben Stokes..!! pic.twitter.com/5yQXukJSm0
Ben Stokes pic.twitter.com/JR1T0hngO9— RVCJ Media (@RVCJ_FB) August 16, 2023
Masterstroke by BCCI to force Ben Stokes to return to ODI cricket and create hype for World Cup 2023.— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) August 16, 2023
CSK Players after IPL 2023 💛— Junaid Khan (@JunaidKhanation) August 16, 2023
☆ Ajinkya Rahane - Back in Test Side as Vice-Captain .
☆ Moeen Ali - Unretired Himself From Test To Play Ashes 2023 .
☆ Ben Stokes - Unretired Himself From ODIs To Play CWC 2023 .
"YOU CAN NOT DO THAT BEN STOKES"— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) August 16, 2023
- Every ODI World Cup team is like😅