England Test captain and key all-rounder Ben Stokes has hinted that he may undergo knee surgery post-World Cup later this year which could rule him out of their tour of India between January and March 2024.
Stokes, who has been troubled by chronic tendonitis in his left knee throughout this summer bowled just 29 overs in five Tests, has recently reversed his retirement decision for the upcoming World Cup following a call by England white-ball captain Jos Buttler.
Having agreed to return for the World Cup only as a batter, there is a feeling that Stokes, the architect along with Brendon McCullum of the Bazball cricket in Tests, will only play as a batter for the five-Test tour of India early next year or undergo surgery and miss the tour completely.
Speaking publicly for the first time since returning to 50-over cricket for the first time since starring for England in the 2019 World Cup on home soil, Stokes said: “The words World Cup are pretty inspiring. The idea of going in and potentially being able to win back-to-back World Cups was one of the big things.”
The 32-year-old also talked about his plans to manage his knee after the tournament and said: “There will be potential of something happening after the World Cup.”
He, however, said this was not the right time for him to make a decision as England get ready for an ODI series against New Zealand before the World Cup.
“There’s quite a long time off after the World Cup. I’ve been having some good conversations with some specialists. There is a plan in place. When we do what we need to do to give myself a chance of getting back to being a genuine all-rounder there will be a time when I can say what I’m doing,” he told BBC on Thursday
“I want to be playing next summer as a genuine all-rounder. This winter is all about playing this World Cup, then getting this knee sorted,” he said.