Stokes comes out of ODI retirement ahead of England’s World Cup defence, Brook misses out- 2023

Ben Stokes is coming out of retirement from one-day internationals to play in England’s defence of the World Cup.

Stokes quit ODIs last year, saying playing in all three formats was unsustainable having taken time away from cricket for mental-health reasons and because of various injury problems.

The allrounder is England’s test captain and starred for the Twenty20 team in its run to the World Cup title last year in the game’s shortest format.

Now he’ll be playing in the 50-over format again, too, with England selecting him Wednesday initially for the upcoming four-match one-day series against New Zealand at home in September. England is planning to pick the same 15-man squad for the Cricket World Cup in India starting in October.

The return of Stokes — England’s match-winner in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s — appears to have squeezed out Harry Brook, who was missing from the squad despite a brilliant start to his international career in the test and T20 formats.

“If ever there’s someone for the big moments, it’s Ben Stokes,” England selector Luke Wright said on a video call. “I think that’s what it is. I think, for him, it’s a last chance to go and win it again.

“Who better for England to have someone like him to come back for us?”

The 32-year-old Stokes played in the recently completed Ashes series despite a long-standing knee injury which prevented him from bowling as much as usual. He was planning to use the rest of the year to recover in time for the test series in India starting in January.

Stokes will be used solely as a batter in ODIs going forward, Wright said.

“Obviously with the Ashes being there, he had to make that the priority, and to have a break and give the body a rest as well,” Wright said. “We gave him a little break so he could make a decision.

“But the nice thing for us was that it wasn’t a case of needing to beg him or anything like that, he was always keen so actually it was straightforward. Once he felt like his body was in a good place and he had a rest, he was really keen to play.”

Wright said Brook missed out because of the options the current batters in the middle order give him. No. 3 Dawid Malan can fill in as an opener if needed, for example, and big-hitting Liam Livingstone — perhaps the player most like Brook in their explosiveness — is a spin option.

“Everything’s going brilliantly with Brooky — there’s no denying what a superstar he is and what a huge future he has with us going forward, in all formats,” Wright said. “That’s the incredibly tough decision we have had to make.”

Jofra Archer, one of English cricket’s most exciting talents, missed out on selection as he recovers from a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow. Wright said there was an outside chance that Archer might have been available for the second half of the World Cup, but was concerned that would have unbalanced the squad.

Archer will be on the standby list, with the World Cup squad getting finalized on Sept. 28.

“There has to be a duty of care with Jof — we know how desperate we all are to have him, there’s no doubt about that,” Wright said. “We have to get it right for him. He’s been very unfortunate with his injuries. Unfortunately, we are running out of time and it’s not going to come around quick enough.”

England squad for ODI series against New Zealand and Cricket World Cup:

Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.

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