Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes (Image Credits: Twitter)

Last Update on: September 8th, 2023 at 12:39 pm

England star and all-rounder Ben Stokes recently opened up about his decision to come out of retirement from ODI cricket, stating that no one pressured him to do so. Ben Stokes expressed his excitement at the prospect of defending their title in the upcoming ODI World Cup in India.

Ben Stokes announced his retirement from ODI cricket in July 2022, citing that he couldn’t play in all three formats. However, the left-handed batter decided to come out of retirement and has been included in England’s ODI squad for the upcoming four-match series against New Zealand.

There Wasn’t Any Pressure Put On Me – Ben Stokes

Speaking to BBC Sport ahead of the first ODI against New Zealand, Ben Stokes appreciated skipper Jos Buttler for including him in the team as a specialist batter.

“The nice thing was there wasn’t any pressure put on me to make a decision quickly. Having a chance to play in another World Cup is great, but going there as world champions and trying to retain it is something that was quite appealing to me,” Stokes said.

“I had to tell Jos that if you want to make that decision and pick me you have to make that decision on the basis of me not bowling a ball out there. I was very clear with where I’m at with my body and what I felt I can offer the team. It was nice to know from Jos that he didn’t think to long that, even if I am just there as a batter, he’d pick me,” he added.

In recent interviews, Buttler and Joe Root stated that they played no role in persuading Stokes to return to ODIs, emphasizing that he isn’t easily influenced. However, they believe his decision has significantly helped the defending champions.

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There Is Pressure On Individuals To Perform – Ben Stokes

The 32-year-old highlighted the importance of having competition for places among individual players, which is a sign of a very strong team.

“If there is a competition for places and there is pressure on individuals to perform to get their spot, that’s a sign you’re in a very, very good team,” he further added.

“You don’t want selections to be easy, because then you know your strength in depth isn’t as strong as other teams. It’s a healthy place to be in as a team when everyone has a little bit of pressure to perform before the final World Cup squad gets announced,” he concluded.

The Jos Buttler-led team will start their campaign in the 2023 ODI World Cup by taking on New Zealand at the world’s largest stadium, Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, on October 5.

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