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Ben Stokes set to take U-turn on ODI retirement to play 2023 World Cup, could miss IPL

Ben Stokes set to take U-turn on ODI retirement to play 2023 World Cup, could miss IPL

NEW DELHI: Ben Stokes, the internationally renowned all-rounder and England Test captain, is preparing for a historic comeback.

His focus is completely on competing in the ODI World Cup slated to take place in India, even if it meant foregoing an entire season of the lucrative IPL, as revealed by British newspaper 'The Telegraph'.

According to a story in a leading English newspaper, "Ben Stokes is prepared to make a sensational U-Turn and reverse his one-day international retirement to help England's World Cup defence in India this year, even if it means missing out on next season's Indian Premier League."

"The England Test captain now appears willing to play in the World Cup if white-ball captain Jos Buttler asks," the publication added.

The tough five-Test series against India, planned from January 25 to March 11, could be the motivation for Stokes to renounce his Rs 16 crore IPL contract with CSK.

Participating in the entire two-month IPL season till the end of May would necessitate a significant five-month presence in India, which could prove logistically difficult for him.

He is anticipated to have knee surgery at some point, and the IPL window appears to be the optimum moment for him to return to competitive cricket and continue leading England in the years ahead.

"While there is still concern about Stokes' knee, which may require surgery at some point, Telegraph Sport understands that he would be willing to miss next season's IPL if he needed a gap in his schedule to help him recover."

England begin their campaign against New Zealand on October 5 in Ahmedabad, and the 32-year-old Stokes, who played 105 ODIs for his country before retiring from the format last year, may only participate in one tournament to help Buttler's side reclaim the trophy they won in 2019. Stokes was named Player of the Final in the previous home edition.

According to the article, Stokes will also bat in the middle order as a specialist if necessary.

"Stokes is expected to bat in the middle order for England in ODIs." Amid concerns over how much bowling he can do, England are willing to choose him as a specialist batter, a role he played at times during this summer's Ashes series," according to the source.