Ben Stokes ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/ben-stokes-311158), England’s Test captain and hero of their 2019 World Cup triumph, has reversed his decision to retire from 50-over cricket ahead of the team’s defence of their title in India this autumn, and has been recalled to the men’s ODI squad for the forthcoming series against New Zealand.
Stokes, 32, stood down from the 50-over format last summer ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/eng-vs-sa-1st-odi-ben-stokes-to-retire-from-odi-cricket-after-chester-le-street-farewell-1325304), claiming that it was unsustainable for him to give his best across all three formats of the game, and that the “England shirt deserves nothing less” than 100% commitment.
However, given his starring roles in the finals of both the 50-over World Cup in 2019 and the 20-over version in Melbourne last November, Stokes’ big-match temperament was an asset that England were loath to do without, with both Matthew Mott, the white-ball coach, and Jos Buttler, the captain, consistent in their desire to persuade him to change his mind.
He has duly been named in a 15-man squad that is intended to be close to the line-up that they will take to India in October, where their campaign will get underway against the same opponents, New Zealand, in a rematch of their epic final at Lord’s in July 2019.
Although England do not have to name their provisional World Cup squad until September 5, with scope for further changes until September 28, at this stage Stokes is one of nine survivors from the 2019 tournament, with Jonny Bairstow ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/jonny-bairstow-297433)also set for his first white-ball internationals since breaking his leg in September last year.
However, with Stokes likely to feature in the squad as a specialist batter, given the chronic knee injury that hampered his allround role during the Ashes – and with Jofra Archer not yet fit for a recall despite England’s hopes that he can feature in the World Cup – the notable call-up is for Surrey’s Gus Atkinson ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/gus-atkinson-1039481), a fast bowler who was clocked at 95mph for Oval Invincibles in the Men’s Hundred last week, and who is in line to make his debut across both white-ball formats.
Atkinson takes his place in an ODI pace attack that also features Mark Wood and Chris Woakes, two 2019 veterans who were in outstanding form for the Test team during the recent Ashes, as well as the left-armers David Willey and Reece Topley, who returned to action in the Hundred earlier this month, after suffering a dislocated shoulder during his maiden IPL stint in April.
At this stage, the notable absentee from England’s World Cup plans would appear to be Harry Brook, ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/harry-brook-911707) their rising star across formats. With Jason Roy ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/jason-roy-298438)trusted to continue his return to form after a fallow 18 months, and Joe Root’ ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/joe-root-303669)s expertise against spin making him a banker for Indian conditions despite having not played white-ball cricket since July 2022, Brook will have to make his case for a call-up from the T20I squad instead.
He will be joined in that party by a number of other contenders for World Cup roles, most particularly Ben Duckett and Will Jacks, who is currently behind both Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone in the spin-bowling allrounder stakes.
Rehan Ahmed ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/rehan-ahmed-1263691), Adil Rashid’s likely successor as England’s premier legspinner, is also in the T20I squad, as is Hampshire’s uncapped pace bowler, John Turner, whose dismissal of Bairstow in a fiery display for Trent Rockets on Monday was a timely display of his credentials. Josh Tongue is also included in the 20-over set-up, and can expect a chance to make another England debut after his breakthrough summer with the Test squad.
England Men’s National Selector, Luke Wright, said: “We have been able to name two extremely strong squads that underline the depth of talent we enjoy in white-ball cricket.
“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.
“We’re also excited to give first international call-ups to both Gus Atkinson and John Turner while Josh Tongue has deserved a place in the T20 squad after impressing during the Ashes.
“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.”
England ODI squad Jos Buttler (capt), 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
England T20I squad Jos Buttler (capt), 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, Luke Wood