Jos Buttler Reveals Ben Stokes’ Decision Timeline on ODI Return for World Cup

Jos Buttler discloses that Ben Stokes chose to return to ODI cricket for the World Cup shortly after the Ashes.

England’s white-ball captain, Jos Buttler, has shed light on the timeline of all-rounder Ben Stokes’ decision to reverse his retirement from ODI cricket and make himself available for the upcoming World Cup in India. Buttler revealed that Stokes made the decision approximately a week or ten days after the conclusion of the Ashes series.

Stokes’ decision to return to ODI cricket was announced earlier this week, leading to his availability for England’s upcoming series against New Zealand at home and their title defense in the World Cup in India.

Buttler explained his approach to the situation, stating, “I just left it to him to come to me if he wanted to come back. Any time a player of his quality is available again is fantastic. We’re delighted to welcome him back. It was Ben’s call. You all know Ben pretty well by now — I don’t think anyone talking to him would persuade him. We had some conversations quite a while ago about it.”

Throughout the Ashes series, Stokes had consistently reiterated his decision to remain retired from ODI cricket and sit out the World Cup. However, shortly after the Ashes concluded, Stokes experienced a change of heart, reversing his stance from the previous year.

“Ben is very much his own man, he makes his own decisions. I’ve played with him for a very long time, I’m good friends with him. Me badgering him and saying, ‘come back, come back’ is not really the way things work with Ben,” Buttler added, acknowledging Stokes’ strong-willed character.

Both Buttler and Stokes have been pivotal figures in England’s recent World Cup successes, having played integral roles in securing the 2019 ODI title and the 2022 T20 World Cup victory. Buttler expressed his satisfaction with Stokes’ return, emphasizing the positive impact he brings to the team.

“I don’t think you need me to tell you what Ben Stokes brings to a team. I’m very happy. I’m delighted if he feels ready to come back and any time you can welcome him back into the team is great,” Buttler asserted.

Stressing Stokes’ independence and determination, Buttler concluded, “He very much makes up his own mind and decides. We had some conversations around it and just left it in his court. I’m sure the lure of playing in a World Cup is quite big for someone as competitive and as driven as he is to play in an England shirt.”

England’s campaign in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup will commence with a match against New Zealand on October 5 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The tournament, featuring ten teams, will culminate with the final on November 19 in Ahmedabad.

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