England’s modern-day great Joe Root brought his understated humour to the fore to confirm he had no role to play behind Ben Stokes’ decision to withdraw his One-Day International retirement in time for the upcoming 2023 World Cup.
Stokes had announced a shocking premature retirement from the One-Day game last summer and triggered a major debate on the future livelihood of the ODI game amidst an “unsustainable” schedule.
The mental and physical wear out on cricketers that an inhumane playing calendar takes weighed up above the attraction of participating in another World Cup at the time for him.
But in a major U-turn, Stokes has now declared his services reopened for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand ahead of the 2023 World Cup on Indian shores in October-November, strengthening England’s resolve to try and retain the world cricket’s most prestigious trophy.
When asked to give his thoughts on Stokes’ comeback, Root first stood clear he had no word with the experienced cricketer with regards to it and wasn’t the one to persuade his great friend.
The former England Test skipper recalled the times he was captain and would ask Stokes to rest up his body but he refused and bowled regardless to press home the point he wouldn’t have listened to his advice anyway.
“It’s got nothing to do with me! Are you joking? Did you not see my tenure as captain, the amount of times I would tell him to stop bowling and he would tell me to f*** off?! I didn’t see the point in even trying!”Root told ESPNcricinfo interview.
Root, who will be key to England’s World Cup campaign with his robust game for Indian conditions, welcomed Stokes’ move with open arms and said opposition teams will be feeling the pinch of the cricketer’s comeback.
“You know every other international team are looking thinking, ‘Damn, I thought we got rid of him!’ At the same time, it fills the rest of the squad with confidence, knowing you’ve got a proven match-winner who will always seek out those big moments,”he added.