“Buttler’s role seems to be monitoring Stokes”: Ashwin comments on Stokes’ potential retirement reversal in English cricket

English cricet player Ben Stokes

Ashwin mentioned that Buttler, his Rajasthan Royals colleague, is reserved and will likely persuade Stokes to reconsider his ODI retirement.

Indian all-rounder, Ravichandran Ashwin, voiced his thoughts following UK media speculations about England’s Test skipper, Ben Stokes, possibly rethinking his ODI retirement to participate in India’s upcoming World Cup. These speculations emerged after England’s limited-overs coach, Matthew Mott, mentioned that Jos Buttler would be pivotal in urging Stokes to rethink his decision.

“Jos is likely to spearhead that conversation, but Ben is candid with all of us. We’re eager to see his decision,” Mott shared with the Mail on Sunday.

“There’s no definitive stance on his decision yet, but we remain optimistic. His prowess with the bat and in-field contributions are undeniable, even if we set aside his bowling.”

In response, Ashwin conveyed that Buttler, his teammate in the Rajasthan Royals, is typically reticent. He believes Buttler will earnestly persuade Stokes to rejoin for the World Cup. “It appears the task of encouraging Ben Stokes to reverse his ODI retirement, particularly for the World Cup, has been assigned to Jos Buttler. Matthew Mott seems to suggest that Buttler’s mission is to oversee Stokes. Therefore, it’s up to Buttler to ensure Stokes’ World Cup participation. Given that Buttler is not overly talkative, I presume his approach to Stokes would be something like,

‘Mate, it’d be great to have you back.’ He won’t be very vocal, but he’ll give his all,” Ashwin shared on his YouTube platform.

As per the British ‘The Telegraph’, if Stokes does decide to play in the ODI World Cup, he might bypass the upcoming IPL season. Stokes, celebrated for leading England’s remarkable Ashes comeback against Australia from a 0-2 deficit, might prioritize the five-Test series against India, spanning from January 25 to March 11, over his lucrative IPL contract with CSK.

Should Stokes engage in the IPL until its conclusion in May, his stay in India would extend to nearly five months, which might not be practical. He is anticipated to need knee surgery eventually, and the IPL timeframe might be apt for this, allowing him to get back in form and continue spearheading England in the following years.

Ashwin highlighted that workload management was the principal reason behind Stokes’ ODI retirement last July.

“The predominant reason Stokes opted for ODI retirement was to manage his workload. He emphasized the challenges of constant play, especially with his knee concerns. That was the primary reason to step back from one format. Yet, England realizes his importance in the World Cup context,” Ashwin remarked.

Stokes played a crucial role in England securing their previous two world championships – the 2019 ODI World Cup and 2022 T20 World Cup. If Buttler seeks a precedent, he needn’t look further than Stokes. Stokes persuaded all-rounder Moeen Ali to return from retirement for the Ashes, especially after England’s primary spinner, Jack Leach, was sidelined due to injury.

England’s World Cup journey begins on October 5 in Ahmedabad, facing off against New Zealand.

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About the Author

Born in Kolkata in 1987, Rohan Sharma, now a revered betting expert, completed a Master’s in Sports Statistics from the University of Pune in 2012. Between 2013 and 2020, he collaborated with the Indian Cricket Board, focusing on player analytics and game strategy optimization. Sharma has penned 16 academic papers, predominantly addressing the evolution of bowling techniques and field placements. In 2021, he transitioned to journalism. Sharma presently authors analytical articles on cricket, offering insights on match dynamics and player strategies, contributing regularly to various sports-centric platforms.

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