Ben Stokes has insisted he remains retired from one-day international cricket and that he wants to use the time between the end of the Ashes and January’s Test tour of India to sort his chronic knee problem.
England’s 50-over World Cup title defence takes place in India in October and November and they look set to be without Stokes – Player of the Match in the 2019 final against New Zealand – after he quit ODIs last year citing the demands of the international calendar.
England do not have a Test match between this week’s Ashes finale at The Kia Oval and the series opener against India in Hyderabad in the final week of January, with Stokes hoping to use the near six-month break to fix the knee problem that has restricted his ability to bowl of late.
“I am retired,” Stokes told reporters when asked whether he could play at this autumn’s World Cup.
“[My knee] is something I want to get sorted. [Between the Ashes and India] is a good time to have some serious in-depth conversations about what is potentially something I could do where I can bowl without worrying about my knee.
You enjoy the periods of having a break but there is only so much break you can cope with. You really do miss that environment around the other lads. Two or three weeks I will probably get bored!
“Those are conversations we will be able to have during that good time off.
“[Being an all-rounder] is something I have done since I was a kid. Wanting to be involved in the game is something that has got the best out of me.
“It has been frustrating not being able to have the same impact and play the same role I have done for the last 10 years. Hopefully I can get my knee sorted.”
‘England success gives me satisfaction’
England cannot regain the Ashes at The Kia Oval, with their hopes of winning back the urn scuppered by the rain during last week’s fourth Test at Emirates Old Trafford.
However, victory in south London will secure a 2-2 draw and deny Australia a first Test series win in the UK since 2001 when Steve Waugh presided over a 4-1 triumph.
Whatever the result, Test captain Stokes will take pleasure in how his men have enjoyed success “playing with freedom” since he and head coach Brendon McCullum took charge last spring.
Stokes said: “When we selected the first squad for New Zealand [last summer], Brendon and I picked the players we thought would flourish in this environment.
“The squad wasn’t utterly different and being a player in that group for a long time, I was lucky to see the talent these people have.
“It was my job and Baz’s job to let that talent free and not like they are being restricted in any way shape or form. When you do that and are able to see the success the individual has, it gives you satisfaction.
“When guys say they are better than what they thought they were because they were given the freedom to go out there and express themselves, it does make you feel good.”
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‘There is enough motivation for both sides’
On the final Test at The Kia Oval, Stokes added: “Australia want to win this game as much as we do.
“They want to leave England saying they have won the Ashes, not just retained it. We want to win this game to say Australia only retained it. I think there is enough motivation for both sides.
“I left Manchester emotionless. It was a very bizarre feeling.
“The game petered out the way it did because of the weather… and [not being able to do anything] is a very strange place to be in. You could see that from both sides shaking the umpires’ hands.
“Both teams are professional athletes and want to be out there doing what we do. It was a pretty flat feeling but we have got rid of those emotions and are ready to go this week.”
Watch the fifth Ashes Test, from The Kia Oval, live on Sky Sports Cricket from Thursday. Coverage starts at 10am ahead of the first ball at 11am. You can also follow over-by-over commentary and video clips via our blog on skysports.com and the Sky Sports App.