England’s test cricket captain, Ben Stokes, is considering undergoing knee surgery after the conclusion of the upcoming World Cup. The decision could lead to his absence from the India tour scheduled for January 2024. Stokes has been grappling with tendonitis in his left knee, significantly limiting his ability to bowl during the recent Ashes series, where he bowled only 29 overs.
Despite initially announcing his retirement from ODI cricket, Stokes was persuaded to return to the World Cup squad, albeit solely as a batsman, by white-ball captain Jos Buttler.
Stokes’ decision to rejoin the World Cup squad as a specialist batsman has fueled speculation regarding his role in the India tour and his potential need for surgery. It remains uncertain whether Stokes will continue in the same batting role during the India tour or opt for surgery that could rule him out of the tour entirely.
Ben Stokes, alongside Brendon McCullum, made a public statement for the first time since the 2019 World Cup. Stokes expressed his motivation for returning to the World Cup, emphasizing the tournament’s allure and the possibility of winning back-to-back World Cups for England.
Stokes hinted at post-tournament plans for managing his knee condition, suggesting that steps would be taken after the World Cup. He acknowledged ongoing discussions with various experts and arrangements being made to address the issue. Stokes expressed his desire to return to being a true all-rounder but did not provide specific details about his post-World Cup plans.
“The word’ World Cup’ is quite motivational. One of the major factors was entering with the possibility of winning back-to-back World Cups. There is a possibility of addressing something after the World Cup. After the World Cup, there is a long off time. I’ve been speaking with various experts. An arrangement has been made. There will come a day when I can explain what I’m doing when I give myself a chance to return to being a true all-rounder,” Stokes said to the BBC on Thursday.
Stokes emphasized that his top priorities for the upcoming winter were playing in the World Cup and addressing his knee issue. He noted that there would be a significant period of rest after the World Cup, during which he could explore options for his rehabilitation.
As England prepares for an ODI series against New Zealand before the World Cup, Ben Stokes has not yet decided about his future course of action. He indicated that he focuses on playing as a genuine all-rounder in the future and that resolving his knee condition is crucial for his cricketing career.
“I want to play as a true all-round player next summer. Playing in the World Cup and fixing my knee are my top priorities for this winter,” he concluded.
Ben Stokes’ contemplation of knee surgery after the World Cup raises questions about his availability for the India tour in early 2024. While he remains committed to representing England in the upcoming World Cup and prioritizing his knee issue, the specifics of his post-tournament plans and the extent of his involvement in the India tour remain uncertain.