According to the Telegraph, Ben Stokes is prepared to come out of retirement in order to aid England’s Cricket World Cup title defence, after calling it quits in ODIs during 2022.

Stokes cited an “unsustainable” workload when calling time on his ODI career, and is likely to play as a specialist batter only if he does make a comeback.

“Three formats are just unsustainable for me now,” he said at the time. “Not only do I feel that my body is letting me down because of the schedule and what is expected of us, but I also feel that I am taking the place of another player who can give Jos and the rest of the team their all.”

The all-rounder has struggled with a knee injury in recent times, and did not bowl in any of the last three Tests of the 2023 Ashes as a result. It had been thought that he might use the six months between the end of that series and the start of England’s tour of India in 2024 to rehabilitate and explore the option of surgery, but, according to the Telegraph, he is prepared to sit out the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League instead.

Stokes provided another example of his big-game pedigree with an unbeaten half-century in the 2022 T20 World Cup final.

Speaking to Daily Mail, England white-ball head coach Matthew Mott said that he would try and tempt Stokes out of retirement for the competition. “There has not been a clear direction on what he’s going to do yet, but we are still hopeful,” he said. “I’ve always said his bowling would be a bonus, but just look at what he brings with the bat, even in the field. Watching him throughout the whole Ashes series, he had such a great presence. He’s done it for years when it comes to performing in one-day cricket and so he’s an invaluable commodity.”

Stokes, Player of the Match in the 2019 World Cup final, would likely slot straight into England’s top five if recalled. England are set to name a preliminary squad for the competition later in the week, with Harry Brook, Dawid Malan, Ben Duckett and Liam Livingstone the batters to come into the conversation to replace him – and former captain Eoin Morgan – since the last World Cup. The final deadline, after which World Cup squads cannot be changed except in case of injury, is September 27.