Ben Stokes has reversed his decision to retire from ODIs ahead of England’s defence of their 50-over World Cup title in India.
Test captain Stokes quit the ODI format 13 months ago due to a demanding workload as a multi-format player and amid concerns about a chronic left knee injury.
That fitness issue meant the all-rounder did not bowl at all during the last three Tests of the recently concluded drawn Ashes series at home to Australia.
But Stokes, one of the stars of England’s 2019 World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s, could now feature as a specialist batsman when England look to retain their title in India starting in October.
England are at home to New Zealand in four warm-up ODIs next month, with Stokes (32) included on Wednesday in a 15-man squad that could well resemble the touring party selected for the World Cup.
England national selector Luke Wright said: “Any series against New Zealand is closely fought and will provide us with an ideal opportunity to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the world.
“The return of Ben Stokes only adds to that quality with his match-winning ability and leadership. I am certain that every fan will enjoy seeing him back in an England ODI shirt again.”
Dawid Malan, who made ODI hundreds in Australia, South Africa and Bangladesh during the 2022-23 English winter – has retained his place ahead of Harry Brook, with the Yorkshire batsman appearing to be the player left out to accommodate Stokes’ return.
While the experienced Stokes’ return was widely forecast, England have also included uncapped Surrey fast bowler Gus Atkinson in their squad for the New Zealand ODI series.
The 25-year-old was not even in Surrey’s XI at the start of the season but has impressed across all formats, especially in The Hundred where he was timed bowling at 153kph for the Oval Invincibles.
With express quick Jofra Archer unlikely to be fit for the start of the World Cup as he recovers from his latest elbow injury, Atkinson will hope to prove his worth at international level against New Zealand.
England begin the series against the Black Caps in Cardiff on 8 September. A separate squad for a series with Ireland later in September will be named nearer the start of that series.
England must name their final 15-strong World Cup squad, plus three travelling reserves by 25 September.
They begin their white-ball home season with four T20Is against New Zealand from 30 August to 5 September.
Hampshire seamer John Turner has earned his first senior call-up while Atkinson could make his England debut in the series, with Stokes not a member of the T20I squad.
England ODI squad: Jos Buttler (c/wkt), 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, Chris Woakes.
England T20I squad: Jos Buttler (c/wkt), Rehan Ahmed, Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Ben Duckett, Will Jacks, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan Adil Rashid, Josh Tongue, John Turner, Luke Wood.
© Agence France-Presse