England’s Ben Stokes has reversed his ODI retirement and will be part of the squad in the upcoming four-match ODI series against New Zealand. The decision comes as a significant boost for the English side ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
The return of the Test team skipper was influenced by England coach Matthew Mott’s desire to include Stokes, even considering him as just a pure batter in the ODIs.
Announcing the squad for the New Zealand series, the line-up included familiar faces: Jos Buttler as captain, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, and Chris Woakes, and of course, Ben Stokes.
England Men’s National Selector, Luke Wright, expressed his enthusiasm about Stokes’ return, stating, “The return of Ben Stokes only adds to that quality with his match-winning ability and leadership. I am certain that every fan will enjoy seeing him back in an England ODI shirt again.”
However, Jofra Archer continues his absence from the squad, focusing on his injury recovery. This exclusion has paved the way for the uncapped pacer, Gus Atkinson from Surrey, to join the 15-man squad. Atkinson brings his prowess from 43 white-ball matches, bagging 60 wickets in List-A and T20 matches.
Harry Brook’s absence after only three ODI matches was another surprise, especially after scoring his maiden ODI fifty against South Africa earlier this year.
The series will kick off in Cardiff on 8 September, providing both teams an opportunity to refine their line-ups before the World Cup. Notably, the World Cup will commence on 5 October with England and New Zealand opening the tournament in Ahmedabad.
Prior to the ODI clash, the two cricketing giants will compete in a four-match T20I series. The ECB has also declared their T20I squad against New Zealand, introducing three uncapped players – Gus Atkinson, Josh Tongue, and John Turner.
Luke Wright highlighted the importance of the series against the Kiwis, noting, “Any series against New Zealand is closely fought and will provide us with an ideal opportunity to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the world.”
The England T20I squad is as follows: Jos Buttler, Rehan Ahmed, Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Will Jacks, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Josh Tongue, John Turner, and Luke Wood.