Former Australia captain Tim Paine doubled down on his attack on England’s Ben Stokes for deciding to come out of his ODI retirement for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 to be played in India from October 5.
Stokes had called time on his ODI career in 2022 citing workload management after taking over as England Test captain. He was the Player of the Final for England when they won their maiden ODI World Cup at home in 2019.
Stokes recently starred in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 against Pakistan, taking them to their second T20 world title as well.
However, after England captain Jos Buttler had a talk with Stokes, he decided to return to the ODIs for the World Cup and has been included in the provisional World Cup squad.
However, since he will only play as a batter owing to a knee injury he has been carrying for some time, Tim Paine had called Stokes selfish. However, former England captain Michael Vaughan replied has defended Stokes’ decision calling him a selfless cricketer who always puts team before himself.
“Ben stokes is the most selfless cricketer I have ever known .. He puts Team before himself more than any other player .. Ridiculous suggestion from Tim ..,” Vaughan wrote on X.
“You don’t have to agree, the people in England don’t have to agree, I don’t really care. His leadership and everything he brings to the team; there’s no doubt England’s team will walk taller and be more confident with Ben Stokes in their team.
But to come out around a big tournament, play in that and probably move on again, personally I don’t like it. If you come out of retirement full time and say I’m going to play all one-day cricket then no issue,” Paine was quoted as saying by The Sen in response to Vaughan.
“15 months ago, say I’m going on a break from one day cricket, I’m not retiring and then don’t double down on it a month ago. I stand by (my comments). He’s a good person from everyone that I know that knows him and he’s a phenomenal player. My thing is… It is a bit of me, me, me, is it not?
Stokes has played 105 ODIs scoring 2924 runs with 3 centuries and 21 fifties to his name. With the ball, Stokes has picked 74 wickets with a best of 5/61. His last ODI was against South Africa in July 2022.
Paine said that since Stokes had retired from ODIs, he should’ve stayed retired.
“It could be seen as coming out of retirement and taking someone’s spot just for a World Cup. The optics of that aren’t very good, particularly when you do an interview a month ago and double down on it and say, ‘I’ve retired from one-day cricket and I will not be reversing it’.
He’s retired, stay retired,” Paine said.
England will play New Zealand in the ICC World Cup 2023 opener on October 5 in Ahmedabad.