After failing to recover from a hip injury in time to face New Zealand in the opening match of the Cricket World Cup 2023, England’s star will miss the tournament’s opening encounter.
England’s championship defense will begin with Ben Stokes missing the opening match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
The ace all-rounder guided England to a thrilling win in the Cricket World Cup 2019 final, but he will miss the rematch against New Zealand owing to a hip injury.
Stokes has been suffering long-term knee problems, but he contemplated retiring from ODIs in order to be selected as a specialist hitter for England’s World Cup campaign in India.
The 32-year-old has not played a competitive match since scoring 182 runs in an ODI victory against New Zealand on September 13.
Stokes was the only member of England’s World Cup squad who did not play in their warm-up match against Bangladesh, as he prepares to fire at the end of the tournament.
“Ben’s going to miss this game, he’s got a little niggle with his hip,” England captain Jos Buttler said after losing the toss and being given the option to bat.
New Zealand will also begin their World Cup campaign without captain Kane Williamson and pacer Tim Southee.
Williamson miraculously recovered from a damaged anterior cruciate ligament in April in time to participate in New Zealand’s World Cup warm-up matches as a batter only, but he will miss the match against England to focus on his fitness.
The 33-year-old scored 37* against South Africa and 54* against Pakistan in the warm-up matches, and he remains critical to New Zealand’s chances of winning its first World Cup.
“It’s great to see Kane back, and to watch him batting,” New Zealand stand-in captain Tom Latham said on Wednesday.
“In terms of batting, it’s almost as if he never left.” It’s also encouraging to see him move so well. He’s taking all of the shots he used to.”
Southee will also miss the rematch between the two Cricket World Cup 2019 finals as he recovers from surgery on a dislocated thumb suffered while playing in an ODI against England on September 15.
“It’s a bit of a day-to-day thing with him in terms of how that looks.” “But I’m hoping he’ll be available sooner rather than later,” Latham remarked.
England XI: Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Jos Buttler (c, wk), Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
New Zealand XI: Devon Conway, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (c, wk), Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Matt Henry, Trent Boult