England’s Ben Stokes revealed that his wife was bemused by his sudden call up to the national side for the ODIs against Pakistan after the initial squad was forced to isolate following COVID-19 cases. Stokes, now the captain, was not supposed to be rushed back from his injury but circumstances forced a change. He admitted it was earlier than planned, but he was glad to step up when needed.
“It was the last call I was expecting. It was short and sharp," said Stokes. “Spoons (Chris Silverwood, the coach) straight up asked me the question: ‘Can you come and do it?’ I was like: ‘Yeah’. After the call happened my wife [jokingly] sent me a screenshot of an article saying: ‘England aren’t going to rush Ben Stokes back.’
“But it was like when I came back for Durham a bit early. My job needed me to do something, so I had to stand up and do that, and it’s the same with this. This is earlier than planned from a medical and fitness point of view but when a job comes and calls you, you need to stand up and make yourself available."
Stokes said despite the new faces, they’ll play like the No. 1 side.
“I led the Test side last year when Joe Root was having a baby and now the one-day team after an outbreak of Covid," he smiled.
“We’ve had to pick a whole new squad. But one thing I’ll be telling the team is that it doesn’t matter what names are on the back of the shirts, we are walking out there as England’s No 1 team.
“It’s such a rare situation but the players here have got an opportunity to represent their country so let’s do it with smiles on our faces and enjoy it as much as we can.
“These are guys we haven’t seen in an England shirt but that’s because of how strong we have been. I’m looking forward to leading out the next exciting cricketers coming through in England and who will no doubt be in an England shirt in the future. It just came quicker than we expected.
“I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself or the guys who will be playing. I just want to make sure everyone has a good time."