England batter Ben Stokes has said he has no idea if the World Cup 2023 match against Pakistan will be his final ODI match.
Stokes had announced his retirement from ODI cricket last year. However, in a surprising turn of events, he reversed his decision on August 16, 2023, just ahead of the World Cup held in India.
Stokes’ return to the tournament was marked by a significant achievement as he smashed his first World Cup century, leading England to a comprehensive 160-run victory over the Netherlands in Pune. Despite this, he was sidelined from the England starting lineup for three consecutive games due to a minor injury concern. The team decided to rest him as a precautionary measure to ensure his full fitness for the upcoming matches.
However, England’s campaign in the World Cup was far from successful. As the defending 50-over and 20-over champion, England’s performance fell apart, suffering heavy defeats against strong contenders like New Zealand, South Africa, and India. Six games into the tournament, England found itself at the bottom of the table. Stokes, who had come out of retirement specifically for the World Cup, found himself under the spotlight amidst these challenges.
When asked if the game against Pakistan would be his final ODI, Stokes decided to keep his cards close to his chest. The all-rounder said he will be having a discussion with England’s managing director Rob Key, who is in Kolkata ahead of the game.
Stokes has also said he has used the time between the matches to put himself in a good position to return from surgery in better shape.
“I’ve no idea,” Stokes said as quoted by Belfast Telegraph.
“I’m sure there will be a conversation but I don’t know when that will be. I have used the time between games here to give myself a better opportunity after the surgery.
“All the work in the gym doesn’t compare to what you go through out there. I’m looking forward to getting it sorted and not having to worry like I have these past 18 months. From a physical point of view I’m better off than when I first got out here, but physical fitness and cricket fitness are two different things.”