Records drop as Stokes reveals his retirement decision ahead of the World Cup.

Ben Stokes has announced that he intends to reverse his decision to retire from one-day international cricket and return in time for this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, after a record-breaking century against New Zealand on Wednesday.

Stokes withdrew from one-day international cricket last year and even assured media at the end of this year’s Ashes series that he had no plans to reverse his decision and return to action for the World Cup, which begins in India next month.

However, Stokes was picked to England’s provisional team for their World Cup defense last month, and he warmed up for that event by making a stunning 182 from only 124 deliveries in his side’s thrashing of New Zealand at The Oval on Wednesday.

“Obviously, I’ve been asked a lot about my knee over a long period of time, so I just said that to leave it,” Stokes said after the game in response to his comments at the end of the Ashes.

“I knew I’d be playing in these games and possibly in the World Cup when I said that, but it was just the easiest thing to say to get you (the media) off my back.”

Stokes struck 15 fours and nine sixes despite playing as a specialist batter, breaking Jason Roy’s record of 180 against Australia in 2018 to become England’s greatest individual scorer in ODI cricket.

No.3 Consistent Dawid Malan temporarily stole the show with a brilliant knock of 96 in a partnership of 199 with Stokes, but it was the England Test captain’s record-breaking innings – in a replay of the 2019 World Cup Final – that stood out on a dominant day for the hosts.

“I didn’t really know (about the record) until the bloke on the tannoy (loudspeaker) announced it – then I got out the next ball,” Stokes explained.

Stokes stated that being in the team as a specialist batter gave him more clarity about his role in the team and allowed him to bat with more freedom at the crease.

“This is the first time I’ve been clear in my mind that that’s the one thing I can focus on,” Stokes explained.

“I think every day for the last 18 months has been, ‘will I bowl, will I not bowl?'” Now that I know I can just concentrate on that… That’s what I’m doing for the team right now. Having that clarity in my mind helps with that.

“I’d rather not go in that early because I want to see the other top lads succeed.” I don’t think I’ve changed my attitude to one-day cricket in all the years I’ve been at No. 5 or 6… I still believe that batting at No. 4, I’ll take the same strategy I did at No. 5.”