LONDON (AP) — In an unexpected development, Ben Stokes has announced his return to one-day internationals, signaling his readiness to contribute to England’s campaign in the upcoming Cricket World Cup defense.

Stokes had stepped back from ODIs last year, citing the challenges of juggling all three formats of the game.

Already at the helm of England’s test team, Stokes demonstrated his prowess in the T20 arena by leading the side to victory in the World Cup championship of the shortest cricket format last year.

Now, he’s making a comeback in the 50-over format as well, finding a place in the England squad for the upcoming four-match one-day series against New Zealand in September, to be played on home turf. This selection is widely seen as a precursor to the squad that will participate in the Cricket World Cup, scheduled to kick off in India in October.

Luke Wright, the England national selector, commented, “Bringing back Ben Stokes not only enhances the team’s skill set with his knack for turning the game around but also adds leadership to the mix. Fans will undoubtedly relish the sight of him wearing the England ODI jersey once more.”

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Despite a persistent knee injury that limited his bowling capacity, Stokes participated in the recently concluded Ashes series.

Stokes etched his name in cricketing history as the hero of England in the 2019 Cricket World Cup final against New Zealand at Lord’s.

The England squad for the series against New Zealand includes: Jos Buttler (captain), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, and Chris Woakes