File photo of Ben Stokes.© AFP
England are hopeful star all-rounder Ben Stokes will “unretire” from ODI cricket in time for the defence of their 50-over World Cup in India next year. Stokes played a vital role in England’s recent World Cup final wins. While he scored an unbeaten 53 against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final on Sunday, he had remained unbeaten on 92 against New Zealand during the summit clash of the 50-over marquee event in 2019. However, the 31-year-old Test skipper announced his retirement from the 50-over format earlier this year, saying playing three formats had become “unsustainable” for him.
Matthew Mott, who took over as England’s white-ball coach in May, hopes to persuade Stokes to reverse his ODI retirement.
“When he spoke to me about his ODI retirement one of the first things I said was that I’d back any decision he made. But I said to him he didn’t necessarily have to retire – he could just not play 50-overs for a while,” Mott told reporters.
“I did say you could always unretire.
“That’s his decision. It’s going to be a World Cup year and we don’t play much T20 cricket for a while but it will be a decision that’s up to him,” he added.
Mott said the all-rounder is vital cog in the England’s scheme of things in white-ball cricket.
“The more we can get him is great. He’s doing an amazing job with the Test captaincy but he is a very big cog in the wheel when he comes back to white-ball.
“He’s a three-dimensional player and he has so much to offer.
“In this team he was the glue – I think we have a lot of guys who can do extraordinary things but he was the player you knew that if he was in you’d win the game,” he added.
Stokes is expected to enter his name in the IPL auction, to be held in Kochi on December 23.
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