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“The worst thing we could do is try to put pressure on him” – Matthew Mott on Ben Stokes returning to ODI cricket ahead of 2023 World Cup



England white-ball coach Matthew Mott recently insisted they won’t pressurize Ben Stokes into returning to one-day international cricket. Mott revealed that he is still in touch with the all-rounder and will see how his body feels mentally and physically.

Stokes, one of England’s pivotal members of the 2019 World Cup-winning squad, announced his retirement from 50-over international cricket in July 2022, citing an unsustainable schedule.

He played his final ODI against South Africa at Chester-le-Street, falling for a single-digit score to part-time off-spinner Aiden Markram.

Ahead of England’s World Cup defense in India later this year, the 49-year-old said he is uncertain about if or when Ben Stokes intends to return to ODI cricket. As quoted by Sky Sports, he stated:

“I’m still in touch with him but the issue about when he wants to play, we don’t need to know for a while. The worst thing we could do is try to put pressure on him early to make a decision. We’ll just see how his body’s holding up and how he’s feeling physically and mentally.”

Matthew Mott also highlighted that Liam Livingstone is also firmly in the mix, given his hard-hitting skills and leg spin is likely to be a handful on Indian surfaces.

“I don’t see too many other players like him to be honest,” he continued. “He’s a spin bowler who can bowl 10 overs in an ODI. If you have left and right-handers, he is not exposed at all. He’s a gun. The way he can bat in white-ball cricket, knowing we can throw him in at any opportunity, and he’s not just a slogger, he’s a proper batter. He’s a very unique player.”

Livingstone suffered a knee injury during the Pakistan tour in December and hasn’t played since. However, he hopes to return to action during the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Punjab Kings and hopes to press his case for the World Cup.

“He’s a box office player” – Matthew Mott on pacer Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer. (Image Credits: Getty)
Jofra Archer. (Image Credits: Getty)

Matthew Mott further underlined that he is incredibly excited to see Jofra Archer return to full tilt ahead of the Ashes and World Cup, especially after promising signs since returning to international cricket in January.

“He’s a box office player,” he added. “He’s fitted back into the group beautifully and it’s an incredible effort for a fast bowler to be out for that long and come back and play as he has done.

“He would admit that he’s not fully firing on all cylinders. You can just see he’s ticking all the boxes to get back to his best. He just seems to be really slow, strategically just making sure he’s doing it right and ticking over and come the Ashes, come the World Cup, I’m sure you’ll see him back to his best.”

Although Jofra Archer bagged figures of 10-0-81-1 on his return, he took a six-for in his next game to bowl England to a convincing victory.

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