World Cup quest drove Ben Stokes’s ambitious comeback

London, (UNI) The possibility of becoming a back-to-back ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup champion attracted England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes back to the ODI format.

Ben Stokes reversed his decision to retire from the ODI format recently, and was named in England’s provisional squad for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

The star all-rounder had quit the ODI game citing an unsustainable work schedule, but eventually did change his mind, an ICC report said.

Speaking to the BBC, Stokes said that with time, he had an opportunity to reflect on his decision.“Back then, it was: I’m done,” Stokes added.

“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,” he said.

For Stokes, it was the enticement of winning back-to-back Cricket World Cups, which drove him back into the format.

“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,” he said.“The idea of going in and potentially being able to win back-to-back World Cups was one of the big things,” Stokes said.

“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,” he said.

While Stokes had been working with specialists to devise a long-term plan for his knee injury, his current focus was on playing the World Cup. At the same time, Stokes was keen to return as a genuine all-rounder from the next year.

“I’ve had some good conversations with specialists in different fields around rehab and a plan going forward after the World Cup,” Stokes said. “There will be the potential of something happening after the World Cup.”

“There is a plan in place. I know what’s going to happen; I just don’t think now is the right time to say what I’m doing,” he said.

“I want to be playing next summer as a genuine allrounder; this winter is all about playing this World Cup, then getting this knee sorted,” Stokes said.

Stokes has been a solid performer for England in the format. He has 2924 ODI runs at an average of 38.98, with 13 centuries to his name.

He also has 74 ODI wickets at 42.39, with a best of 5/61.His unbeaten 84 in the last Cricket World Cup final was instrumental in England Men’s maiden triumph.

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