Ben Stokes’ surprising reversal of his ODI retirement to participate in the 2023 World Cup has raised eyebrows, but it was far from shocking for those familiar with his determination. Stuart Broad, who recently retired from international cricket and had played alongside Stokes in the Test side, was not surprised by this decision.

Stokes, who was named the Player of the Match in the 2019 World Cup Final, had announced his retirement from ODI cricket just a year earlier, citing the demands of playing in all three formats. He had also played a crucial role in securing victory in the T20 World Cup, including a crucial fifty in the final.

In his ODI comeback last month, Stokes wowed cricket enthusiasts with an astonishing innings, amassing 182 runs from just 124 balls against New Zealand.

Sharing his insights in a column for the Daily Mail, Broad expressed his lack of surprise at Stokes’ return, suggesting that this trend might become more common in future World Cups. He opined that leading players might choose to conserve their energy during bilateral series, reserving themselves for the major global tournaments. Broad even referenced previous speculations about a similar approach involving AB de Villiers and the South African team in 2019, emphasizing the importance of having top-tier players in the spotlight.

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Despite grappling with a knee injury that limits his bowling capacity in the tournament, England is content to have Stokes as a specialist batsman. Stuart Broad exuded confidence that Stokes would shine in the knockout stages of the World Cup, highlighting his exceptional ability to thrive under intense pressure as one of his most valuable attributes.

Broad stated, “From England’s perspective, Stokes will undoubtedly prove his true worth in the knockout matches. When the World Cup reaches its pinnacle, having him in the middle order is a game-changer. His composure under pressure is one of the primary reasons for his selection. It’s not an innate quality; it’s something gained through experience. Stokes learned from his lowest moment, the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup final. Since then, his contributions have played a significant role in England’s victories in multiple World Cups and numerous Ashes Tests.”