- England’s key player, Ben Stokes, may miss the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 due to a hip injury.
- Captain Jos Buttler is adopting a careful strategy, unwilling to take big risks early in the tournament, awaiting fitness updates on Stokes.
- Young talent Harry Brook is likely to replace Stokes if unfit, offering a fresh perspective to England’s lineup in the World Cup opener.
In a potential blow to England’s aspirations in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, the team’s linchpin all-rounder, Ben Stokes, is on the verge of missing the opening clash against New Zealand on October 5.
Ben Stokes, who recently came out of retirement for the ODI World Cup, is grappling with a minor hip issue, putting his participation in the crucial match at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium in jeopardy.
Jos Buttler, the captain of the English side, provided insights into Stokes’ condition, stating,
“He’s got a slight niggle with his hip. Fingers crossed that it’ll be good news for us. He’s working hard with the physios and we’ll know more when the guys arrive for training today. We’ll make the right call: if he’s not fit to play, he’s not fit to play.”
Stokes’ absence was conspicuous in England’s warm-up encounter with Bangladesh in Guwahati, following the cancellation of their initial game against India due to adverse weather. Buttler, adopting a prudent approach, emphasized the need to avoid significant risks, particularly in the tournament’s early stages.
“If he is, we can make that decision. It’s not the time to take big risks on someone at the start of the tournament. Nearer the end, maybe you do take more of a risk with people’s injuries, but it’s going to be a long tournament.”
Jos Buttler cautioned.
Harry Brook steps up as Stokes’ potential replacement in England’s World Cup lineup
The potential void left by Stokes paves the way for the emergence of Harry Brook, a promising batting sensation. Stokes, who made a remarkable comeback with a record-breaking 182-run innings, played a pivotal role in England’s preparation for the World Cup.
Brook, having stepped into Stokes’ shoes during the warm-up match against Bangladesh, is now poised to shoulder the responsibility if the seasoned all-rounder is deemed unfit.
Stokes’ return to ODIs generated excitement among England fans, showcasing not only his remarkable batting skills but also making him the second-highest run scorer in the series against India. As England faces this early challenge in the World Cup, the spotlight shifts to the burgeoning talent of Harry Brook, potentially a linchpin in England’s quest for cricketing glory.