Ahmedabad, Nov 3: England’s Test skipper and all-rounder Ben Stokes said he will undergo surgery for fixing issues around his troublesome left knee after the ongoing Men’s ODI World Cup.
Stokes, 32, has been dealing with issue around his left knee for the last 18 months, limiting the role he plays with his fast-bowling skills. The injury meant he is playing as a specialist batter in the World Cup, and Stokes is aiming to return in time for England’s five-match Test tour of India starting from January 25, 2024 in Hyderabad.
“Not bowling makes it seem a lot longer than what it normally is. But it's been, obviously over the last 18 months, it's been will I, won't I, whereas actually this World Cup it's not had to sort of worry about that and be able to just focus on going out there and trying to contribute to team with runs which is obviously something I've not been able to do.”
“But it's probably the first time since I've had this knee issue where it's been quite clear that I'm not going to be bowling. I'll be fine for the Test Series in India. But I am having surgery after the World Cup. We go to those meetings and generally take a physio and a doctor with me and then those two-start talking and then I just turn up and get put to sleep, wake up and hopefully it's better,” said Stokes in the pre-match press conference.
Stokes was also seen using an inhaler in a training session ahead of England's eight-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in Bengaluru, suggesting that it was caused by poor air quality in the venue cities, particularly in Mumbai. But the all-rounder revealed he has been suffering from exercise-induced asthma during the World Cup.
“Sometimes it happens when you go to a new city in India where the air is slightly different. So, that could be a reason for it. Bangalore when we actually turned up just felt a lot fresher. But doing the running that I was doing does bring it on a lot easier than normal. So, that could be a reason for it.”
Stokes was also brutally honest in his view of England enduring a disastrous time so far in the tournament, which has led to them being at the bottom of the points table. “We've had a disastrous World Cup and there's no point sugarcoating that because it's the truth. But we know these last three games, for us, we've got a lot to play for.”
“The biggest thing that we've got to play for is obviously the pride of what it is to put the three lines on your chest, walking out onto the field every time is a very special occasion and something that we value very highly. So, there'll be a lot of noise around England, Australia in the next game, but regardless of who we play against the feeling of putting that shirt on is something that we take very seriously.”
Asked to pinpoint an area where England have faltered, Stokes remarked, “The problem is that we've been crap. To be honest with you, we've been crap. Everything we've tried throughout this World Cup, through trying to put pressure back onto the opposition in a way in which we know, or trying to soak up the pressure in a different way, which we know we've done before and been successful with, it's just not worked.”
“Every opportunity that we've had in front of us where we feel like we can take control of the game, the opposition's managed to get it back towards them. We've just not been able to put a full game together, or even got close to putting a full game together except against Bangladesh. If you dive too much into it around cricket, you find you come out with more questions than answers.”
“We know that as individuals and as a team, we've been nowhere near good enough to be able to compete in a World Cup, which has been incredibly disappointing because we know we're so, so much better than what we've shown out here. Not having an answer and being able to understand as to why it's gone wrong is very simple, that's the answer.”
“Because if we knew what had gone wrong, we would have been able to fix it. But unfortunately, we don't. It's just been one of those tournaments where, yeah, it's just been a disaster. There's no point sugarcoating it because it's probably what you're all going to write anyway, and it's true,” he concluded. (IANS)