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Ben Stokes’ quest for World Cup history fuels ODI retirement U-turn

Ben Stokes quest for World Cup history fuels ODI retirement U turn

Ben Stokes during a nets session at Trent Bridge on July 11, 2018 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After helping England level the Ashes 2023 series after going 2-0 down, Ben Stokes decided last month that he will be returning to the ODI setup ahead of the upcoming 50-over World Cup in India.

Stokes played a brilliant 84-run unbeaten knock in the 2019 final at Lord’s and helped England win the ODI World Cup for the first time in their rich cricketing history. According to the legendary cricketer, the possibility of winning consecutive 50-over World Cups was one of the biggest reasons why he chose to take a U-turn on his ODI retirement.

“Back then, it was: I’m done. But as time goes on and the opportunities come closer and closer, you think completely differently to when I made the decision. There were obviously a lot of things to think about. First and foremost, I needed to see how I got through the Ashes and then think about what I had after the World Cup. When I felt like I had to make a decision and make myself available, it was an easy one to make,” Stokes said while speaking to BBC.

“The words World Cup are pretty inspiring. Going into this one as world champions, playing a part in [winning] that in 2019, which was an unbelievable moment for us as a team and myself. The idea of going in and potentially being able to win back-to-back World Cups was one of the big things. Everyone knows, and it’s not arrogant for us to say that we’re a very good team. We’ve got a very good depth of personnel to be able to choose from and our record since the World Cup has been very good. We like our chances, but the thinking about World Cups is who can handle the pressure best on any given day.”

Ben Stokes scores half-century on his ODI return

England and New Zealand played the finals of the 2019 ODI World Cup and they will lock horns once again in the opening fixture of the 2023 ODI World Cup on October 5 in Ahmedabad. However, these two teams have the chance to get a feel of each other ahead of the marquee clash as they are currently involved in a four-match ODI series. The first of the four matches is being played in Cardiff on Friday, September 8.

This is also Stokes’ comeback ODI match. The left-handed batter took his time and registered a solid half-century off 67 balls. He was dismissed a couple of balls later for 52 as he hit a length delivery from Rachin Ravindra straight to Henry Nicholls at extra cover.

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