Ben Stokes could miss England’s Cricket World Cup Opener. Ben Stokes, who earned the Player of the Match title during the 2019 World Cup final clash between England and New Zealand, is currently facing an uncertain situation as the 2023 edition of the tournament is set to kick off in Ahmedabad this Thursday. Despite his remarkable return to One Day International (ODI) cricket in August, marked by an impressive score of 182 against New Zealand, Stokes has been grappling with a persistent knee injury, limiting his role to that of a specialized batsman.
Ben Stokes could miss England’s Cricket World Cup Opener
However, Stokes was noticeably absent from England’s warm-up match against Bangladesh in Guwahati on Monday due to a reported hip issue. Jos Buttler, the captain of the England team, expressed a cautious approach when it comes to player fitness in the initial stages of the tournament. Buttler provided some insight, stating, “He’s dealing with a minor hip issue… but we’re hopeful for positive news. We’ll wait and see. He’s diligently working with the physiotherapists, and we’ll have more information when the squad begins training today.”
“We’ll make the appropriate decision. If he’s not fit to participate, then he won’t. If he is fit, we can make that determination. At the tournament’s outset, it’s not the right time to take significant risks with a player’s fitness. Towards the end, we might be more inclined to take calculated risks with injuries, but this will be a lengthy competition.”
If Stokes cannot participate, Harry Brook could step into the No. 4 position, a role he recently assumed during the warm-up match against Bangladesh. Despite having limited ODI experience, Brook’s outstanding performances in Test and T20 cricket have boosted the confidence of the English team. Buttler lauded Brook, stating, “We are all aware of what an exceptional player he is. He’s at the beginning of an international career that has already been remarkable in T20 cricket and the Test format. While he hasn’t had extensive exposure to ODI cricket, it’s a format that should align well with his abilities.”
“It will allow him to bat for extended periods and compile substantial scores, something he takes pleasure in doing. He possesses a wide array of shots, and we’ve witnessed in Test cricket that he can produce substantial innings. This format should ideally suit his style of play.”