Speculation is rife that Ben Stokes is considering a return from his ODI hiatus to represent England in the forthcoming 50-over World Cup.

Last summer, Stokes took a step back from ODIs, primarily due to his packed schedule, especially after his elevation as the Test team’s captain and the simultaneous rise of franchise cricket. However, he remained an active force in Twenty20s, playing a pivotal role in England’s triumph in Australia. Now, there are whispers of Stokes re-embracing the ODI platform for the World Cup in India this year.

Many believed Stokes’ departure from ODIs was to concentrate on his Test captaincy. His standout unbeaten half-century against Pakistan fortified England’s victory in the IT20 World Championship in Australia. Still, white-ball head coach Matthew Mott had shared his aspirations of convincing Stokes to reconsider his 50-over game retirement.

Stokes’ ongoing left knee challenges and potential surgical needs made his comeback seem a distant dream. However, with England’s next Test not until January, this period might offer Stokes an opportunity to dive back into ODIs.

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The England cricket committee is gearing up for a meet on Tuesday, with announcements regarding the squad for upcoming matches against New Zealand and Ireland due on Wednesday. These encounters will be precursors to the grand World Cup event. The buzz is that Stokes will likely find his name in the preliminary 18-player roster for the World Cup, which would undoubtedly be a boon for white-ball skipper Jos Buttler.

Four years ago, the duo of Stokes and Buttler was central to England’s iconic World Cup victory at home. In a thrilling finale against New Zealand at Lord’s, Stokes’ unforgettable performance, coupled with Buttler’s game-defining run-out, sealed the deal for England.

In his illustrious ODI journey, Stokes has featured in 105 games, amassing 2,924 runs and clinching 74 wickets.

An official word from both Stokes’ representative and the England and Wales Cricket Board remains awaited.