In a significant setback for England, star all-rounder Ben Stokes is expected to sit out the opening fixture of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The clash, scheduled for October 5th, will see England face off against New Zealand at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Stokes is nursing a slight hip injury, which has raised concerns about his availability for this crucial encounter.
England captain Jos Buttler provided insight into Stokes’ condition, saying, “He’s got a slight niggle with his hip. Fingers crossed that it’ll be good news for us. He’s working hard with the physios, and we’ll know more when the guys arrive for training today. We’ll make the right call: if he’s not fit to play, he’s not fit to play.”
Stokes had already missed England’s warm-up game against Bangladesh in Guwahati due to the same hip injury, following the washout of their first warm-up match against India.
Buttler emphasized the importance of not taking unnecessary risks early in the tournament, stating, “It’s not the time to take big risks on someone at the start of the tournament. Nearer the end, maybe you do take more of a risk with people’s injuries, but it’s going to be a long tournament.”
Ben Stokes recently made a remarkable return to One-Day Internationals (ODIs) after retiring from the format in July 2022. The 32-year-old displayed his prowess with a historic individual score, smashing 182 runs off 124 balls.
His innings included 15 fours and nine sixes, leaving a lasting impact. Stokes concluded the series as the second-highest run-scorer, amassing 235 runs from three innings at an impressive average of 78.33 and a strike rate of 115.76, featuring one century and one half-century.
In the event that Stokes is unable to participate, England may turn to the promising young batsman Harry Brook to fill his crucial role. Brook took Stokes’ position in the warm-up match and could be a valuable asset for England in the tournament.