Melbourne: England are hoping Ben Stokes might reconsider his retirement from One Day Internationals and help the team defend their 50-over World Cup title next year.
The talismanic all-rounder, who batted England to victory in the T20 World Cup final against Pakistan on Sunday, retired from one-day cricket in July, citing the “unsustainable” rigour of playing all formats.
England coach Matthew Mott said Test captain Stokes would be welcomed back to the ODI squad with open arms.
Don't have to retire
“When he spoke to me about his ODI retirement one of the first things I said was that I’d back any decision he made, but I said to him he didn’t necessarily have to retire, he could just not play 50-overs for a while,” Mott told British media.
“And I said: ‘You could always unretire.’
“That’s his decision. It’s going to be a World Cup year and we don’t play much T20 cricket for a while, but it will be up to him. The more we can get him is great.”
Stokes was also the hero of England’s maiden 50-over World Cup triumph in 2019, when he hit an unbeaten 84 in the tense final win over New Zealand.
England defend their 50-over title in India in October/November next year.
Veteran all-rounder Moeen Ali has revealed he is “absolutely buzzing” following his side’s title triumph, with the 35-year-old adding the final against Pakistan at MCG was the “biggest game” he’s ever played.
Moeen’s 13-ball 19 in the final won’t look like a great contribution but it came at an important juncture during the match with the run-rate starting to climb as the overs ticked away. Somebody needed to up the scoring rate and take the pressure off Stokes, and Moeen did the job to perfection scoring at a strike rate of 146.15.
“It felt like the biggest game I’ve ever played in because obviously I was so desperate to win it,” Moeen was quoted as saying by ICC. “I feel like as a team we deserved it. I’m absolutely buzzing,” he added.
The veteran all-rounder added that to win the title after the miss in 2016 and being eliminated last year in the semi-final stage in the UAE after such a fine run was something that had hurt him a lot.
Moeen was forced to watch on from the sidelines in 2019 as England survived the late drama to win the Cricket World Cup, defeating New Zealand at Lord’s.
“To win the World Cup after 2016, missing out in the final (England lost to the West Indies in the summit clash), then the semi-final (last year in UAE) where we probably felt we should have won, and then coming out here (in Australia)... it was an amazing performance,” added Moeen.