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Ben Stokes ODI Retirement U-Turn – Fair or Unfair? Fans have their say

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Last Updated on 9 months by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: Ben Stokes ODI Retirement U-Turn – Fair or Unfair? Fans have their say | Reactions to Ben Stokes coming out of retirement

Cricket fans continue to be divided on English Test skipper Ben Stokes’ return from ODI retirement ahead of the World Cup scheduled to be held in India later this year. The star all-rounder had hung his boots from the 50-overs format after receiving the Test captaincy in 2022. As he sought to manage his workload, Stokes decided to devote attention to red-ball cricket and T20Is, which resulted in England winning the World Cup in the shortest format later in the year in Australia.

However, England’s white-ball coach Matthew Mott had always remained insistent that Stokes could come back to represent the national team in the ODI World Cup. The Three Lions are looking to defend their crown – the one that they had lifted courtesy of Stokes’ heroics at Lord’s in June 2019. Accordingly, the player will be preparing for the tournament starting with the New Zealand series that will be held in England in September. Several supporters and critics have divisive views on the player’s decision.

Arguments for and against Ben Stokes making his return just before the ODI World Cup

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Against:

Tim Paine slams Stokes’ decision to come out of retirement, Kevin Pietersen says Harry Brook must be in the squad

“Ben Stokes coming out of one day retirement, I found that interesting. It was a bit of, ‘Me, me, me’, there isn’t it? It was, ‘I’ll pick and I’ll choose where I want to play and when I want to play’, and, ‘I’ll play in the big tournaments’,” former Australian Test skipper Tim Paine remarked on the situation.

He added, “The guys who played for 12 months, ‘Sorry, thanks. But can you go and sit on the bench because I want to play now?’ I don’t know, he’s not bowling. Harry Brook or Ben Stokes? As a bat. It would be very close, very, very close.”

England batter Harry Brook had to sacrifice his place in the squad to make way for Stokes. Brook has been one of the most pivotal players for England coming up the ranks across formats in the last couple of years.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)p layer has played three ODIs so far. He has 86 runs to his name and already has a half-century to his name. He has played 20 T20Is and has 372 runs in the shortest international cricket format. Brook, however, has no qualms on missing out from the World Cup squad to a player of Stokes’ pedigree.

“He (Stokes) is one of the best players to ever play cricket, so I can’t really complain, can I? Obviously it’s disappointing (to be omitted), but I can’t do anything about it now, you’ve just got to move on. I’m trying not to think about it any more. I’ve not had much conversation with (coach) Matthew (Mott) or (captain) Jos (Buttler). They said with Stokesy coming back, I was probably going to miss out this time,” Brook said.

However, former England international Kevin Pietersen is not a big fan of the Brook’s ouster from the roster. Pietersen hailed Brook as a tremendous talent, who is tailor-made to star in the modern-day cricket. He was astonished at the call, though it came at the expense of Stokes finding a way back in the team.

“I’m absolutely flabbergasted that (Brook) cannot make England’s World Cup squad because he is pure quality. I just cannot believe it. I saw this guy at Headingley two years ago when The Hundred took off and I immediately saw a superstar. I saw someone playing 360, who could hit the same balls over extra-cover or midwicket,” Pietersen commented a couple of days back.

Regardless of the comments, Stokes’ leadership, all-round skillsets, and match-winning abilities are second to none. He has time and again inspired England to win big matches in major tournaments from precarious situations. His retirement, from day one, was an exercise to protect his body amidst the turmoils of red-ball cricket and the T20 World Cup last year. Mott had always maintained that a call on this decision would be taken closer to the World Cup and hence the U-turn was arguably always on the cards.

Tarkesh Jha
Tarkesh Jhahttps://twitter.com/jha_tarkesh
Tarkesh is a passionate cricket fan from India. He specialises in reporting on news from around the cricketing world as well as putting together opinion pieces. You can connect with Tarkesh on Twitter (X) at: https://twitter.com/jha_tarkesh

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