Ace English all-rounder Ben Stokes retired from international cricket earlier this year in July, citing his inability to cope with all three formats at a time. In his retirement note, he mentioned focusing more on Test cricket and the shortest format of the game. Recently, he played a key role in England’s T20 World Cup victory against Pakistan at the MCG. He smashed an unbeaten 52 off 49 balls and his terrific has certainly prompted calls for the all-rounder to come out of retirement as England look to retain the trophy, they won at home in 2019.
According to a Daily Mail report, Stokes has admitted during the build-up to the inaugural Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi that he didn’t know ‘how he might feel’ about the possibility of defending the title next year in India.
“Keysy (Rob Key) pulled me to the side in the UAE (during training ahead of the Test series against Pakistan) and as soon as he said 50-over World Cup, I just walked away,” Stokes was quoted as saying.
“Who knows? At the moment, being out here, my focus is solely on this series (in Pakistan). But it’s one of those things. Who knows how I might feel towards a (50-over) World Cup at the time. Going to a World Cup is an amazing thing to do, to represent your country. But at the moment I’m not even thinking about that,” he added.
Stokes & Co have arrived in Pakistan to play a Test series after 17 years. But before the series opener in Rawalpindi, several players, including the skipper, fell sick and were forced to skip the optional training session on Wednesday.
As many as seven England players had fallen sick just 24 hours ahead of the contest, but the tourists announced they had enough players to field a side.
“The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) has informed the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) that they are in a position to field an XI, and, as such, the first Test will commence as per schedule today (Thursday, 1 December) at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium,” England Cricket said in a statement, according to ICC.
While England are out of contention to reach next year’s World Test Championship final, the series is crucial for Pakistan as they attempt to qualify.
(With Agency Inputs)