Ben Stokes, the charismatic English all-rounder, who made a surprising U-turn on his ODI retirement earlier this year, may be facing a major setback on his road to the 2023 World Cup. Reports have surfaced indicating that Stokes has developed a troublesome hip niggle, potentially jeopardizing his participation in the World Cup opener against New Zealand.
In their warm-up fixture against Bangladesh on October 2, Ben Stokes was notably absent from both batting and bowling duties, raising concerns about his fitness. The extent of his injury is still uncertain, but if it proves to be significant, Stokes could miss out on the highly-anticipated first game of the 2023 World Cup edition.
This unexpected injury concern has sent shockwaves through the English camp, casting a shadow over the 2019 World Cup champions just before their high-stakes clash against New Zealand in the World Cup opener. The English team will anxiously await a briefing from their captain, Jos Buttler, regarding Stokes’ availability for the crucial match.
Stokes had previously made headlines with his surprise return to ODI cricket, reversing his retirement decision after a 14-month hiatus. Drafted into the England ODI squad for a four-match series against New Zealand last month, he showcased his batting prowess by amassing an impressive 235 runs at an average of 78.33. However, the 32-year-old refrained from bowling throughout the series.
With less than 24 hours remaining before the commencement of the first match, the cricketing world watches with bated breath to see whether Ben Stokes will recover in time to feature in England’s inaugural World Cup encounter against New Zealand on October 5.