England have received a huge boost ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 as Ben Stokes reversed his ODI retirement, and was named in the squad for the four-match ODI series against New Zealand.
England coach Matthew Mott had recently revealed that he was eager to lure the Test team skipper out of his retirement, and was willing to play him as just a pure batter in ODIs.
England squad for New Zealand series: Jos Buttler (captain), 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.
Speaking on Stokes' return, England Men’s National Selector Luke Wright said: “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."
There is still no place in the squad for Jofra Archer who continues his recovery from injury. Instead, uncapped pacer Gus Atkinson from Surrey has found a place in the 15-man squad.
The right-arm quick has experience of 43 white-ball matches in domestic cricket and franchise leagues, having picked up 60 wickets in List-A and T20 matches.
One of the surprise omissions is that of Harry Brook, who has been dropped after a run of just three ODI matches. Brook featured in the ODI series against South Africa earlier this year, where he scored his maiden ODI fifty in the second match.
The four-match ODI series begins in Cardiff on 8 September with both teams looking to fine-tune their squads heading into the World Cup, which commences on 5 October with the two sides facing off in their tournament opener in Ahmedabad.
Before the ODI series, the two teams will lock horns in a four-match T20I series. Alongside the ODI squad, ECB also announced their contingent for the T20I series which features three uncapped players in the shortest format – Gus Atkinson, Josh Tongue and John Turner.
England T20I squad against New Zealand: Jos Buttler, 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.
“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,” Luke Wright added.