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Cricket World Cup 2023: England pacer Ben Stokes will undergo knee surgery after the tournament

Cricket World Cup 2023: England pacer Ben Stokes will undergo knee surgery after the tournament

  • Written by Matthew Henry
  • BBC Sport in Ahmedabad

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Stokes played as a specialist batsman in the last three Ashes Tests of the summer due to a knee problem

ICC Men's Cricket World Cup: England vs Australia

place: Ahmedabad date: Saturday 4th November time: 08:30 GMT

coverage: Test match by ball, special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport website and app. The website and app will also feature live text captions and in-play videos (UK users only)

England captain Ben Stokes says he will undergo surgery after the World Cup to address his ongoing knee problem.

The 32-year-old's knee has been a long-term issue as the all-rounder was unable to bowl and played only as a batsman during the World Cup in India.

They return to India for a five-match Test series, starting January 25, but Stokes says he hopes to be fit.

“A lot of time has gone into determining when to get this done,” Stokes said.

“Obviously with the India Test series that we start at the end of January, I should be fine by then.”

England will play Australia on Saturday before concluding their campaign a week later against Pakistan on November 11.

It is understood England will travel to the UAE for a training camp ahead of the India series, leaving him around eight weeks to recover in time to travel with the team.

When he revealed the surgery, he remained coy about the specific details of the operation, but said he did not view it as threatening his career.

“I always go with doctors and physical therapists and they use language I've never heard before,” he said.

“Clearly there is something that needs to be operated on.

“I'm going to stop working and let the surgeon do what he does best, which is fix the knees.”

He missed India's first three matches with a hip problem, and has since picked up scores of 0, 43 and 5, but said he has “no regrets” in reversing his retirement decision.

Stokes has not bowled since July 1 – the fourth day of the second Ashes Test at Lord's – which has left England struggling to balance the Test and 50-over teams.

He said he hopes the operation will allow him to play a full role as an all-rounder in the future.

“It was a big obstacle for me and affected what I could do for the team,” he said.

“Obviously bowling is what I want to do.

“You would hope it would mean I could get back to doing what I was known for, which was playing as a batsman, and playing as a bowler as well.”

“We had a disastrous World Cup.”

video caption, “A really horrible package” – Al-Shami cooking duck

England have already crashed out of the World Cup finals after five defeats in six matches effectively ending their hopes of reaching the semi-finals with three games to play.

Defeat to old rivals Australia in Ahmedabad will sportingly end their hopes.

After Afghanistan's victory over the Netherlands on Friday, England could be eliminated before the Australia match ends, if New Zealand beats Pakistan in the early match on Saturday.

Stokes said England still had “a lot to play for”, adding that matches against Australia were “always a big occasion”.

He added: “We went through a disastrous World Cup and there is no need to sugarcoat that because this is the truth.”

“Obviously the most important thing to play for is the pride that it means to wear the Three Lions on your chest.”

The meeting will be the first between the two teams since the Ashes clash this summer, which England fought to a 2-2 draw.

Australian captain Pat Cummins said he was surprised by England's struggle to defend its title, but he underestimated the importance of being able to mathematically end the hopes of its old rivals.

“I mean it helps us get to the semifinals, so maybe that's the overall feeling of winning this game,” he said.

“It's been an old rivalry, so, if they beat us, I know it's probably a little bit better than beating other teams.

“The same goes for their history in terms of how successful they have been in white-ball cricket. It would be a great win.”

Australia will have to make two forced changes for the match.

Glenn Maxwell is out after suffering concussion after falling from the back of a golf cart, while Mitchell Marsh has returned to Australia for personal reasons.

The most likely scenario is for Marcus Stoinis and teammate Cameron Green to be called up.