England coach Matthew Mott insists ‘the door is open’ for Ben Stokes to reverse his retirement from ODI cricket ahead of the World Cup later this year… as he reveals he recently spoke to the all-rounder about returning to the 50-over side
- Ben Stokes retired from ODI cricket in July, citing an ‘unsustainable schedule’
- England will aim to defend their 50-over World Cup crown in India this Autumn
- Matthew Mott said the door would be left open for Stokes to return to the side
England coach Matthew Mott today said the door would be left open for Ben Stokes to return to one-day international cricket right up until this autumn’s World Cup.
Mott spoke to Test captain Stokes before flying to South Africa for a three-match series that starts here on Friday and and asked whether he was ready to reverse his 50-over retirement.
The 31-year-old, who is about to take his swashbuckling team to New Zealand for a two-match series, was non-committal but will be given as long as possible to declare himself available for England’s defence of a trophy that Stokes contributed so much to winning.
England coach Matthew Mott today said the door would be left open for Ben Stokes to reverse his decision to retire from ODI cricket ahead of England’s World Cup defence this autumn
Stokes had called a day on his ODI career last summer, citing the ‘unsustainable’ schedule
‘The door is always open for a player of that quality but we are also very aware that his main focus is is red ball cricket as the captain. We respect that and when he’s ready to chat, we’ll do that,’ said Mott, who added that the pair had had a ‘couple of hook-ups here and there,’ since the turn of the year.
Asked whether there would be a cut-off point for a player whose 84 not out against the New Zealanders at Lord’s helped England triumph in the 2019 World Cup final, Mott said: ‘I’ve had some good discussions with Jos (Buttler) and Rob Key on this.
‘What we’ve worked out, as you will see on this tour, is that players are playing a lot of franchise cricket, coming in and out at different times, so we need to keep a really flexible, open mind to players and when we sit down to pick that 15 for the World Cup, we want to pick the best players possible.’
The all-rounder had a key role in England winning the 50-over title on home soil back in 2019
Mott insisted ‘the door is always open for a player of that quality’ in reference to Stokes
Stokes admitted last month that the World Cup defence in India next year was tempting, buoyed by steering England to final victory in the Twenty20 equivalent with another unbeaten half-century versus Pakistan days earlier.
Last July, he announced his 50-over career was over, citing an ‘unsustainable’ schedule as one reason and his responsibilities as Test captain as another.
But his proven match-winning qualities mean England are prepared to wait beyond this summer’s Ashes, which finish at the end of July, for a yes or no for the plane to India in October.